OAK ROOM, CHATEAU LA COSTE, FRANCE ANDY GOLDSWORTHY
Take a field near a French castle. Get a digger in to excavate a huge pit next to a terraced wall. Use the thinnings from a nearby oak plantation to build a dome in the pit. Strip the wood of bark to ensure against insect infestation. Oh, and because it looks better.
Then bury said dome and build a doorway and steps into it as part of the reconstructed terraced wall. And when you do all of this, what have you got? A new space. A work of art. Andy Goldsworthy was born in Cheshire and grew up near Leeds but he lives in Dumfries and Galloway now so we can maybe claim him as Scottish. And why wouldn’t we? Goldsworthy is perhaps the most successful environmental artist there is. More importantly, he is one of the most interesting, as the new book Andy Goldsworthy Projects reminds us.
It’s a photographic account of 44 projects, including this buried oak room, created in situ all over Europe, the United States and South America.
Goldsworthy’s artworks are in conversation with and all about the world around us. And it uses the stuff that makes up that world – water and stone and branch and earth – to do so. In short, here is the world reshaped by two human hands (sometimes with help, of course) and one human brain.
Andy Goldsworthy Projects is published by Abrams, priced £65