a recommendation

From time to time, I’ve discussed the nature of art and artists here. But I often feel there is a difficulty in conveying what is so unique and special about the creative experience. In a way, it reminds me of the religious experience. If someone is not a religious person himself, he can read about the theology of a religion, about the lives of saints, about the life style in a monastery… he can read the bible or a prayer book, visit a church, or watch someone cross themselves as they hear a certain type of news… and still, all of the above remains foreign to them. It doesn’t explain the devotion, or the commitment to a very specific relationship to the world.


There is something like that about the creative artist. From the outside, he may look like a rogue or a rebel He can have any number of personal foibles or faults. He may even look a little ridiculous. When looking at art, each of us has his personal taste. We find ourselves drawn to a certain type of artist, or a certain type of artistic expression. But even if we love those types of art… even if we are inspired… it is still hard to understand the true nature of the life of an artist. For the artist takes risks, and makes a commitment, and is constantly being tested… an artist lives on the edge… he or she is like a tight rope walker, traveling through the air… and the intensity of the experience is hard to understand if one has not lived it.


The other day, I saw a documentary film about the work of Andy Goldsworthy, a very special and wonderful artist. The documentary was produced by Thomas Riedelsheimer. I used to love watching movies. But lately, I’ve had a number of disappointments, and lost some of the enthusiasm I once had. This film is a full length feature. The quality of the copy is not as good as I would have hoped for. But the film is one of the very best I have seen in the last five years at least. It is not easy for me to recommend watching a movie that lasts an hour and a half. But I definitely think it’s worth it. The name of the movie is ‘Rivers and Tides’


Goldsworthy’s work is environmental sculpture. Much of his work is intentionally perishable. That is, he allows nature to take his work on to a new dimension. As I watched the movie, I had the feeling that even a non artist would be able to understand a lot about the creative experience, while watching this. I especially look forward to the comments of those who have had the stamina to watch this movie in its entirety. I think I’m going to see it a few more times, as I plan to encourage some of my friends to see the movie with me.

This is the link: http://tinyurl.com/65oy3nd


thanks to Jacqueline for the recommendation


2 responses to “a recommendation

  1. Thank you for the recommendation. I’ve had a chance to watch most but not all of the film. What surprised me was that the artist comments that he often feels detached from the landscape when he arrives on a new site, yet the process he follows and the art he creates becomes a direct translation of his connection to nature. His translation is bourne out of the process. What he creates is very beautiful and he presents the potential for a very subjective experience for the viewer of his work.

    I am by no means an expert in the interpretation of art, in what ever form, however I am struck by how important art is in my life. I am, on occasion, staggered by the emotion one can experience from art, in it’s sheer beauty, but also how it has the potential to challenge us and make us question what we see and what we feel.

    I am fortunate enough to have come across a Scottish photographer, based in the Highlands who is significantly influenced by our landscape. His interpretations are interesting and I pass on a link to his website should you wish to have a look. His work is varied, but I thought you might like to see the landscapes he has produced. You can find him at:-


    Thank you for this truly engaging post. Oh and your cat is very beautiful!


    • I agree with you that his statement regarding the way he gets to know a new site, is a key to understanding the process he uses in his art. Thank you for your link and recommendation to look at the work of Craig Mackay. I found the work interesting, but his web site was a bit distracting for me. And special thanks, Jacqueline, for your comment on my cat, Nechama

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