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Sunday, January 31, 2010


As I was watching the children during sand play last Friday, I remembered Andy Goldsworthy. I learnt about him when I did Aesthetic in Children's Art as part of my Master in Education programme. Goldsworthy is a famous British sculptor who uses nature (including sand) as his canvass as well as medium of art.

I am sharing my journal entry here to give an insight on the beauty of nature and how we can encourage our children to appreciate it. There are many activities we can do with the leaves, pebbles, flowers, sand or even twigs around us. Guess we just need to be more creative!
(Unfortunately, I don't know how to copy the pictures in my journal. However, I've uploaded some of his beautiful creations here. I've also included a website which explains his sculptures in greater details and you can find many, many breathtaking, yet ephemeral sculptures here. Just click on the title Aesthetics in Nature and it will link you to the site. Or just type Andy Goldsworthy and search for him in Google Search!)

April 25, 2009 9.20pm
Andy Goldsworthy : The Beauty of Creation

Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist living in Scotland. He produces site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. He uses natural and found objects to create both temporary and permanent sculptures which draw out the character of their environment.

The materials used in Goldsworthy’s art often include brightly-coloured flowers, icicles, leaves, mud, pinecones, snow, stone , twigs and thorns. He often uses his bare hands, teeth, and found tools to prepare and arrange most of his materials.

As most of his works are short-lived and transient, he takes photographs of each piece. According to Goldsworthy, “Each work grows, stays, decays – integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its height, marking the moment when the work is most alive. There is an intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image. Process and decay are implicit.”

Among some of Goldsworthy’s creations is one made up of rowan leaves arranged to create a hole. The second picture is that of pebbles around a hole. The two pictures are similar in the sense that there is a value of light and dark; the gradations of light and dark on the surface of the objects.

What does the hole represent? We are curious to know what lies in the hole. There is an aura of mystery surrounding the hole.

Goldsworthy also works with sand. There are structures that he has created along the beach. These structures are definitely ephemeral as the tide will wash away his creation.

We can encourage our children to work with sand. They can build sandcastles on the beach and sand box or making lines on a bed of sand with their fingers. They can enjoy the feel of sand with their bare hands, explore the movement of sand as they glide through their fingers as well as observe the transience of sand as a medium of creation. They feel the difference between wet sand and dry sand and how the wet sand holds shapes better that the dry one.

Another beautiful creations are pebbles which are carefully broken and scratched white with another stone. While it may be difficult for young children to break the pebbles or scratch off the colour, they could be encouraged to explore the texture, look at the differences in colour, size and shape and to build a collage of pebbles in the garden.

Another creation which I like is the making of a rainbow. This is a very simple creation that enthralls the children. I have done this in my school and the children just loved the rainbow projected on the wall, the paper as well as on themselves!

Goldsworthy created his rainbow by hitting the water with a large stick. I created the rainbow with a mirror, a shallow basin of water and the bright, bright sun!

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