How do I describe what I feel when seeing art that is not meant to last? How does the artist feel to create something knowing that its lifespan might be very short -- that it might last for a year or literally a few minutes? It seems to me to be the very absence of ego and it also pulls me in, with its ethereal quality, in ways that a painting or a sculpture might never do.
Andy GoldsworthyI'm speaking of the ephemeral natural art created by artists such as Andy Goldsworthy and Patrick Dougherty. These pieces are created from natural objects and then left in site. It is the whim of nature - rain, wind, snow, sun and water that determines how long they will last.
Andy GoldsworthyDuring the time of duration this art will change shape, but not as the artist planned but by how each piece reacts to the climate and weather to which it is subjected.
Sadly, this type of art only lasts a short while, all that will be left are photographs of these lovely natural sculptures. I stand awestruck by those artists who work with this concept. To look at a piece of art that I know will never be quite the same, even if I came back to look at it each day, is to know an artist who creates for the shear joy of creating.
[Note: there is the most wonderful DVD of Andy Goldworthy's work called "Rivers and Tides" - just in case you want to be totally awed!]
"At its most successful, my 'touch' looks into the heart of nature; most days I don't even get close. These things are all part of a transient process that I cannot understand unless my touch is also transient - only in this way can the cycle remain unbroken and the process be complete." - Andy Goldsworthy