Andy Goldsworthy is an environmental artist who creates installations in natural settings using only materials found at the project sites, including stones, leaves, sticks and flowers among other native items. The installations are meant to be fleeting, capitalizing on specific materials at specific moments in time before the work decays or disappears back into the setting as nature reclaims the site. Goldsworthy has won the praise of art critics throughout the course of his career, winning awards and permanent installations in various exhibitions across the world but his true adoration may be held in the hearts of parents with restless kids who love to be outdoors.
The Goldsworthy Project is an homage to the artist’s works by my family as we set out to recreate particular pieces of his or gain inspiration from others for our own works that we create together on our various outdoor excursions. Admittedly these excursions are fairly new as my family only moved a couple of years ago out of New York City where trees are only allotted one sidewalk square of real estate each, to Monmouth County, New Jersey, where there are over 30 parks, forests, gardens, wetland/marine habitats, recreation areas, and conservation properties totaling over 17,000 acres and 137 miles of hiking trails. In addition to the access to nature we now have, throw in the fact that we also have a three-year-old child who loves to be outside rain or shine, we’ve come to take full advantage of our natural surroundings, first by just being enveloped by them and now by creating with and in them, as well.
The origin for the Goldsworthy Project, like our pieces themselves, was actually a collaboration amongst us starting with a sculpture my son, John, created on the beach. When I sent the picture to my dad and suggested John may be an installation artist in the making, my dad who we call Bop, immediately connected the setting and the materials to Goldsworthy’s work. Since John was as focused and engaged in creating the sculpture as I’ve seen him capable of being so far in his young life, Bop, an artist in his own right, thought it would be a fun activity to continue while either out on hikes or even in our own backyards. The idea of having the ability for John to learn about nature while burning some energy and creating cool artworks hit all my checkpoints for a successful outing with a toddler. And so, the Goldsworthy Project was born. I hope you enjoy what we’ve put together.