Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Andy Turns Rock into Water

Well almost... Andy Goldsworthy, famed Scottish environmentalist artist, has been commissioned to make a series of domes in a space adjacent to the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. Domes with black holes in the center are his thing. He makes them out of leaves, wood, reeds, and now slate. The nine domes will fill the space previously occupied by a Japanese garden. When seen from above, they resemble swirling eddies of water.

I tried to go to a lecture by the artist on Sunday. Since it was the day after a big (for Washington) snowstorm, I thought there would be no problem getting in. WRONG! Only in Washington would there be 600 people ahead of me in line, when the auditorium holds only 533. Fortunately he agreed to allow the video of the lecture to be shown twice, the first time being today. There were probably 100 people in attendance.

The video included photos from many of his projects. He talked a lot about the black holes that form the boundary between light and darkness. One of my favorite projects was 5 HUGE snowballs that he constructed, mixing natural things like seeds with snow, keeping them totally frozen until the middle of the summer, when he placed them in various places in downtown London in the middle of the night. They took 5 days to melt completely, leaving behind the natural ingredients. I also liked the “shadows” formed by Andy and friends lying on pavement during a rain storm.

He talked about his design and choice of materials for the National Gallery project, called Roof. He visited three different quarries before deciding to use slate. He loves everything about slate. He brought 8 stone masons from the UK to construct the domes. They actually assemble the domes using no adhesive material, just by putting piece upon piece. They really look so COOL!

For more information on this project: http://www.nga.gov/press/2004/releases/fall/goldsworthy.shtm


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