“Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Works With Time” brought me right back to my childhood days of making castles out of sand, constructing forts out of rocks and digging little rivers and pools in Mom’s flower bed. But then I grew up and if I build anything these days, it’s a beer can pyramid in the kitchen. Fortunately, there are a few people that don’t lose that childlike fascination with building shapes and…basically…playing in the dirt. Andy Goldsworthy is one of these people and he creates art with natural resources, trying to understand them more in his work.
Goldsworthy makes his work out of stone, sticks, ice and whatever else he can get his hands on. His most striking pieces are these oversized pinecone shapes he creates out of pieces of stone. Standing at the side of the road, one of these creations tends to look like a sign from an alien being. It’s just so bizarre because of its placement and the fact that it looks like it took inhuman patience to put it together.
Patience and perhaps a little obsessive compulsiveness. At one point in the film, Goldsworthy is shown constructing a piece out of stone on wet sand. He only gets so far when the whole thing collapses. He simply hangs his head, sighs and gets back to work on it again from scratch. This happens several other times and where many of us would’ve stopped after the first failed attempt, Goldsworthy keeps on truckin’, proud that with each attempt he’s built the piece just a little higher, thus getting to understand the stone better.
As patient as Goldsworthy is, the film is as well. It moves at a very leisurely and calm pace, washing over its audience and soothing its viewers with its lush photography and mellow score by Fred Frith. I’ve seen the film about three times now, mostly because it’s a great stress reliever, as well as a wonderful portrait of a very unique artist.