Andy Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer and environmentalist living in Scotland who produces site-specific sculpture and land art situated in natural and urban settings. Goldsworthy works directly with nature and uses a variety of natural materials in his art including leaves, twigs, flower petals, pinecones, sand, snow and stone. Through the use of natural materials, Goldsworthy creates temporary and permanent sculptures which address issues of growth and decay. The idea behind much of Goldsworthy’s work is that artwork has a natural life that eventually must end.
Goldsworthy constructs his pieces using found instruments. These instruments are, for example, a stick with which he scrapes sand or thorns that he uses to stick leaves together. He also uses nature as a means to shape his works. For example, in some of his works he uses icicles, which go through a freezing and thawing cycle.
Following the theme growth and decay, he sometimes uses the negative processes of nature to illustrate to affects of nature in a life cycle. This best is illustrated when a sculpture made of sand is dismantled by the tide or when clay enveloping boulders burst during the process of drying.