Sunday, September 19, 2010

Andy Goldsworthy

“What lies below the surface effects the surface” -Andy Goldsworthy

Last week, my 5th graders started to learn about the artist, Andy Goldsworthy(one of my favorites!) A sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist; Andy Goldsworthy creates site-specific land art from natural and found objects. His works are some of the most beautiful, poetic, quiet, moving...(insert about 50 more glowing adjectives...) that I've seen. The kids really love Goldsworthy as well because he makes art that they do all the time. I even had one student tell me he's his new favorite artist!

Using a powerpoint of Goldsworthy's work, we talked about themes and questions that are present in his natural installations.

Why would he make art that would be destroyed?

Why would he choose to only use natural materials?

Why would he make art where such few people would see?

The kids had some really insightful interpretations of his work. I always love hearing what they think of different artworks; they often get to the heart of the meaning so succinctly! When asked about this work, one student said that because the lines look knotted and random, that maybe it represents his thoughts, and the tide that washes away the drawing, untangles his thoughts. Beautiful idea, right!?

We also talked about how Andy Goldsworthy values the process of making art, not just the product.

We spent one day viewing the powerpoint and talking about Goldsworthy, and we also watched some of a documentary of his work called 'Rivers and Tides', a beautiful film of his process. Then I had the kids choose if they wanted to work in pairs or by themselves. They spent the rest of the hour sketching their ideas and deciding how they wanted their artwork to be photographed. They had to decide at what angle to shoot their photograph and if they were including shadows.

The next week we were out the doors!
The kids were fascinated with Goldsworthy's work and had a blast making art outside! I had one student ask if Andy Goldsworthy was 'worthy of gold'...hehe! For the amount of learning, fun, and inspiration that took place- I think so!


Jacquelien said...

What a great lesson!
I was on a schoolcamp with my class last days and I planned to do 'land art' too, but unfortunately we hadn't enough time for it. But I wil definitely do it some time!

therese english perdue said...

Oh, I hope you're able to! It was SO much fun!

Ms. Jamieson said...

The students did a great job with their "goldsworthy" style artwork. I also do a lesson on him and find that the kids just eat it up.

M. Hill said...

I love that you did a class on Goldsworthy with the kids! Such a great idea!

Erica said...

Andy would be proud!!! These are so spirited I want to come to play in your class. I think I will use your leaf man idea because we are also working on building literacy a lot because it is a huge need. I like the story connection. Maybe a group story if they don't have enough vocabulary to create their own. Thanks for the idea!

Lauren Taylor, Art Instructor said...

I love, love, LOVE this lesson! The connection between nature and art is just pure brilliance. I am focusing a lot on the natural world this year in the art room and would love to try this lesson and incorporate Robert Smithson as well.

You are an extremely talented art teacher! Glad to have found your blog! :)