SPEAKER 1: This is a production of Cornell University.
JOEL MALLIN: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. It's a pleasure to see all your smiling faces. Some 57 years ago, my wife Sherry and I got on a train called the Phoebe Snow and came from New York and arrived at Ithaca. It was the first time we'd ever seen Cornell. And it was our freshman year. It was to begin our college lives. Sherry was in the ag school and I was a metallurgical engineer.
The idea of coming back to Cornell to address a group of students never crossed our mind. And so I'm somewhat surprised at being up here at all. Were it not for the great affection that Sherry and I have for Andy Goldsworthy-- we tend to be very private people-- I would not be up here, nor would my wife, who is going to come after me.
Frank Robinson, who heads the Johnson Museum, and Nancy Green who is, I believe, the chief curator, and Jerry Jones, who was running the Andrew D. White program, first became acquainted with Andy's work at our home in Pound Ridge in Westchester. And that was in the middle 1990s.
In about 1998, Sherry and I threw Andy into a car and said we're driving up to Cornell, which we did. And we introduced him to Frank and Nancy, and the rest of the people at the Johnson Museum. And Andy started to walk the Gorges. And subsequently he did an exhibition here in 2001.
But by that time, he had become much beloved by the faculty. And in the year 2000, he was appointed the Andrew D. White Visiting Professor. That's an appointment that he held for six years and then was renewed for another two years. And this is his apparently last year. They've run out of renewals for him.
His first show at Cornell was the Fall Creek Project. And that was in 2001. He has been back to Cornell on numerous occasions in his role as a visiting professor and art critic.
And being a visiting professor is a proud family tradition. His father, Allan Goldsworthy, was a visiting professor in applied mathematics, unfortunately not at Cornell, but in 1967, in Boulder, Colorado. And I believe that Andy and the rest of the family joined him for that year in the United States. We're looking forward today to Andy's last lecture as an Andrew D. White visiting professor. Hopefully, this will not be his last visit to Cornell or his last lecture at Cornell.
And now I would like to call on my wife Sherry, who will discuss her response to Andy's art. Sherry and Andy are on the same wavelength. It's difficult to describe, but they intuitively understand each other. It makes me quite jealous by the way.
They understand how the art works. I am totally in awe of the process. And so I would like to call upon my wife Sherry to explain it to all of you.
SHERRY MALLIN: May I have the slide, please?
We were given a gift back in 1990. It was a book, entitled Andy Goldsworthy-- Collaboration with Nature. I spent the afternoon reading the book. And when Joel came home that night, he spent the whole evening doing the same. And then quite accidentally I noticed in one of the art magazines that LeLong Galerie was having an exhibition of Andy Goldsworthy.
That week, I stopped into the gallery, introduced myself to Mary Sabbatino, the director of the gallery; sat down and watched an absolutely mesmerizing film of Andy's work in Japan. Mary was very kind. And she offered to lend it to me to take home that evening so Joel could see it also. We watched it several times and were thoroughly blown away by it.
The next day, I returned the tape. And I asked Mary if she could arrange for Andy to visit with us in our country home because I thought I would like to commission a piece of his work in the woods, in our country. She said she'd arrange it the next time he came to New York.
A couple of months later, Andy arrived. And to my amazement, a very young man walked in, no older than one of our sons. Somehow having a book published with such mature work in it meant to me that he was going to be a much older and much more established artist. But there he was.
Andy spent the weekend with us, exploring the woods, sharing good wine, food, and conversation. That weekend was the start of an amazing journey for both Joel and myself. Andy arrived a stranger. And he left a member of our family.
Sometime later, we received a drawing in the mail and a proposal for a work of art to be made in the woods. In our area, there are many, many stone walls, just as there are in the area that Andy lives in Scotland. Andy said that most people who walk in the woods, talk about the solitude of the woods. But because the walls in our area have all been laid down by farmers as they cleared their land, he felt that he walked with the spirits of the generations past. And they spoke loud and clear to him.
After this-- with this letter, he sent us a drawing, showing what he wished to do to alter the stone wall. We accepted the proposal. And the work began in the summer.
Andy arrived with a waller because the walls had originally been made not by artists, but by workers and laborers. And he felt in order to be true to the labor in them, a waller should make them. We went out into the woods. And we found a tree that had fallen. And had it dragged over to the site where he was going to alter the wall.
The existing wall, that laid was laid down and existed already, was strengthened. And that, of course, was the past. We then took the tree, and he laid the tree horizontally.
And you can see from the drawings here, and follow what I'm saying, laid the tree horizontally over the original wall. There was an opening. And the tree was cut in half. And the opening was kept as it was. And then collected stones from the property, laid them on top of the tree. And the top layer now represented the present.
As we've had this tree now for a long time, it is decaying. It is rotting. It is falling apart.
We can't sell it. We can't move it. It's going to fall down. And it represents to us one of the best pieces we own. It is one of the few pieces on the property that carries within it hope and faith that future generations will lay their wall on top of our wall. It is what life is all about.
From a simple gift of a book, we've had the great fortune to know Andy; to grow through experiencing his art; to see the land around us differently; to think of time, memory, the natural processes of life and death through a special lens, created by Andy's incredible body of. Work it has been and still is a wonderful journey for us. And we are thankful for the privilege of having shared it with you.
It is with great pleasure that we are participating in presenting Andy Goldsworthy to you.
Good evening. I'm Fiona. This is Steven. And this is Sharon. As students who have been able to work with Andy over the past few summers through the E.D. White Professors-at-Large Program-- go back. They ruined my surprise-- we would just like to share a few memories and kind of give you a student insight to what it's like, that he probably won't cover in his lecture-- even though they've messed up my slideshow.
I would like to talk about how there's kind of two sides to Andy. You know, there's this really energetic, fun guy. And then, oh, no. And then this guy.
But in all seriousness, there's this one part of him that wants to go out and do solo work and do his ephemeral stuff. Here he is in Washington, DC, doing a rain shadow in the middle of the street. And then, of course, this draws lots of copycats, such as Steven and Jerry Jones.
But another dimension to his work is these really large projects. And it's just-- there's too great in scale for one man. So he has this team. A lot of people don't know, but he works with five of the best stone wallers in the world-- and, of course, students. And it's really great being such a diverse team. And I really enjoyed it. So here's Steven.
STEVEN: One of the most rewarding aspects of being a student of Andy's is realizing that we were truly members of his team through this. And coming to the realization that we'd made a real contribution to the projects that we've become a part of. This meant that we could see how we'd impacted the realization of his ideas, whether that meant mixing clay or climbing all over the domes of stone houses as they were built. But then, again, that could also mean that if any of our money was sitting around in singles, we'd eventually lose it to the wallers in the game Virus Brag at night.
So for me, I'd say one of the most phenomenal parts of my experience was seeing firsthand just how far the sense of fascination and almost impish playfulness can be taken. I had brought my slack line with me that summer. And it's certainly not something that's easy to pick up the first time. And I was messing around on it one day. And Andy sort of emerged from the woods. And I think it sort of speaks to the sense of balance and tension that after hopping on it a few times, he was taking some steps on it.
So the kinds of projects that they bring students in are the big projects, the projects that require a lot of work. They require a momentous, gargantuan amount of work. Now, it's not just the work. But it's the feelings that come out during the work that I want to talk about.
Here, for instance, this is Sharon's project. They had to hand-debark black locust rails, lots and lots of black locust rails. On the project that I was on with Fiona, we had to make clay for Andy, 17 tons of clay for Andy, hand-sifted, hand-mixed over the course of the summer.
As you can imagine, during this process the whole range of human emotions is experienced by the entire crew, all of us, and yes, even Andy. There's a lot of stuff that we enjoy. And then there's a lot of frustration, a lot of anger, a lot of disappointment.
And then in the end, right at the end, emerges this amazing, pristine natural organic project. And all of that work all, of the odious tasks, all of those silliness, everything just sort of vanishes. And here is the work. So that's sort of my observation.
And before we introduce Andy, there's a lot of people also-- not only do they require a lot of work, but they require a lot of people and a lot of support. So we want to acknowledge a couple of them. The Galerie LeLong, which represents Andy on the East Coast; Mary Sabbatino, Lindsay McDonald, and Mark Hughes; the clients, of course, deserve a lot of recognition. And the program for professors-at-large, especially Jerry Jones and Penny Dietrich, they really make all the logistics of involving students in these programs come together. So they deserve our great admiration and recognition. And without further ado, I'd like to introduce Andy Goldsworthy.
ANDY GOLDSWORTHY: Huh, frustration, anger?
It is interesting because-- I mean, I very rarely show images of work like that. So thanks for showing that. I mean my purpose in many ways is to actually extract a lot of the effort out of the sculpture. So that when it's finished, it does have a sense of effortlessness about it.
I think Whistler said that about painting, that the painting is not finished until all trace of the effort of its making has been removed. And I feel that. But that doesn't I mean to say that there is not effort there. And these students that have worked with me have put in tremendous effort in these projects, remarkable.
So I'm going to talk about some of the projects at Cornell and things related to them because I wanted to-- OK. Is that all right? There you go. I wanted to show the connections between what I've done here, and other things, and what it's led to. But the projects here are part of a wider journey that my work has gone on.
So if we could start the slides, please. As Joel said, I first came here to do a project where I just got to know the place and worked with the materials of the place. This is how I get to know-- how I get to know a place and form a relationship with it.
And obviously, I was drawn to the Gorges, partly because I wanted a bit of peace and quiet. But also it's an extraordinary campus. These very kind of-- these tears through the campus are very unnerving spaces. And as you descend into them, there is a powerful sense of change in them.
And when I work in a place-- I came in the autumn. I obviously worked with the leaves in this instance, dipping them in water and laying them over the bedrock. Do I have to-- can I use this? Yeah. Is it the right one?
SPEAKER 2: Yes.
ANDY GOLDSWORTHY: Oh, good. All right, we're all sorted now.
Again, wet, yellow leaves, dipped in water, laid in a rock. Not just about the leaves, but it's about the place, the day, the light. And light is very important to the work. Obviously, made with the Sun shining on it, so it reflects into the water. The leaves being wet, become more intense in color.
Photography is obviously an important way to record and show this work. It's not intended to replace the work. It is not the work. But it has come out of the work, which is really what happens outside.
I mean on a very simple level, a work like this is really trying to see what are the colors that are here? What is here? And collecting the various colors in the leaves and starting to work with them, laying them on the rock, covering the rock. You can see that I edited out the red. It was going to be too-- I think actually in truth, the red was a stiffer leaf and didn't adhere to the rock.
And by the end of the project, I've actually learned how to wrap red leaves around branches. So it took a little while. And I think there's a stronger work for having edited it out.
But when I cover a rock-- and this is the next slide is a different wall, made in France, with poppy petals. It's quite a large boulder. But when I cover a rock, I'm not decorating the stone. Color for me is a very powerful indication of the life and energy that's contained within materials. And in covering the stone, I'm trying to somehow reach inside the stone to draw out some of that energy that is inside the stone. Color for me is not decorative.
This is a small red cairn that I made in Cornell. What was really interesting about this work was the internal structure, which was of stone. So stone was holding the stalks of the leaf. Leaves were growing out of stone.
And this is a work that has yet to come to fruition on a much larger scale in some way. And it will, believe me. There is a growth in my work from the small-scale works to the large-scale projects, of which the students have helped me on.
There was one particular rock that I really liked, in the gorge, a big, flat-topped rock that I did this water drawing on. It was with water. I wet the work. Which obviously I had to work quite quickly because the front bit was beginning-- the first part was drying by the time I reached the end. So I'd go back to the beginning. And so there his cycle of trying to go round, and round, and round with the work, which I have some interesting ideas about for permanent sculptures.
I have an idea for a war there's going to be about 10 yards long, a dry stone wall. And the back of the wall-- this is for an urban piece. The back of the wall will be taken apart and fed to the front. And this wall will travel through the city.
And you will only see 10 yards at a time. And I will photograph the 10 yards each day. So it'll only be known as a complete wall in an image. And it will be about that memory. You know, in the city you only sees little part of all the energy that's going on in that place. Oops. I remember water to be never dry.
The way a work changes after I've made it is as important as the making. And one of the most interesting things that came out of the work that I made here was an installation at the Johnson, with branches. This was in the room. As you go on the right-hand side, you look over the balcony. And it's a room that you look into, The gallery on the ground floor, that you look into from the first floor-- or whatever.
It was a great work to do and to try out. It was not entirely successful in that the light was not right for the place. The light for that particular room comes from behind the viewer. So the light is penetrating the holes. And it kind of diffuses the energy of the sculpture a bit. But it was a work that has gone on to become a very important-- very important piece of mine-- too much light. There we go.
Now, this was the first work that students from Cornell came and helped me on. It's not a work yet. This is actually at Storm King Sculpture Park. And alongside a wall, alongside the field, was this row of boulders. The wall was obviously made when the land was cleared of trees and walls were made.
But these boulders were taken out to the field through the process of landscape design that had happened-- landscaping that had happened for the Sculpture Park. Anyway, there are these stones, these glacial boulders that have gone on this-- been put to the side of the field. And I enclosed them in branches, stone inside wood.
And I think that idea of looking beyond the layer, looking beyond the trees to the stone, beyond the trees to the earth, to the stone, looking through-- trying to get through the surface appearance of things. I would hope-- or I aim-- in my work, I aim to try and reach beyond the surface appearance of things, which is why often many holes occur. They're like windows or openings into the things below the surface.
The exhibition that I had there was part of-- came after the Storm King Wall, which was a dry stone wall. This wasn't made with the students from Cornell. It was unfortunately prior to my getting to know Cornell. But this would have been a great project to have had students involved.
It was certainly-- I remember very vividly the wall being visited by Tom Whitlow and a group of students. And I'll never forget because we were discussing there was this-- well, what's the tree-- what are the trees going to do to the wall? What is their impact on the wall?
And in some cases, the trees are very close to the wall. So I was put this question to Tom. And he said, well, yeah, the PSI level of a tree, and the pressure in the-- and I thought, whoa, this is incredible. This guy was doing this calculation about what a tree could do. And if the rock was big enough, it would withstand it. If not, it wouldn't.
And that moment was really very-- it was very clear in my mind. I thought that I've got to-- there are things that I can learn from this man and this institution. And that's wall.
As part of the exhibition, there was stacked branched, a ball of branches; two, in fact. And this was another project. The works were sold and went to a place in Berkshires. And students from Cornell came and helped me construct these two boulders of wood. One was sited in the clearing. And the other was in the wood. And in the exhibition, one had been inside a room and one had been outside.
I think it would be fair to say that often in my work, once I've been to a place I will very likely return, as it has been with Cornell, as it has been with Pound Ridge, where John and Sherry Mallin live, where there's now a cluster of sculptures in that area. And I really like that, going back to a place and getting into a place more deeply.
And we did another project at the Berkshires, that I'll refer to later. But I just thought I'd talk a little bit about these stacked things that I make. And a lot of them-- as I've said, a lot of these things come from a theme of works made for a day, just arriving at a place, looking at an avenue of trees, realizing that the beech branches have a twistiness, and building this cone, this cairn, that I call it.
When I was making this work-- it's actually in Holland. A farmer came along. And he was on his tractor. And he drove right along this avenue to me in his tractor. And I have a kind of an interesting relationship with farmers. Sometimes they want to run me off the land. And other times, well, they're OK.
So I didn't know how he would. Anyway, he looked. He said, oh, that's fantastic, just fantastic, fantastic. And later on, he stole it--
--and put it in his garden. And it was-- it was actually-- it was actually a project. It was a public place. It wasn't his ground.
He was a tenant farmer. It was for the Dutch Forestry Commission. And it made the headline news, farmer steels sculpture. Actually, I think you should be working for Momart, moving dirt. I don't think anybody else has managed to move these quite so successfully.
And here's another one. Now, sometimes work repeats, forms repeat. And they're not being repeated just for the sake of it. There's a journey that idea is going on. There's often a sense of extracting more and more from the idea in the work.
Sometimes it can be a tech-- well, partly there's always a technical side to it, trying to learn how to put the branches together. This was made after the tempest-- the hurricane that hit France just at the turn of the century, when many trees were blown down. And as a response, the couple who owned this house decided to commission artists to make work from the trees. And I made this very large cairn.
And slowly, I began to learn how to work the branches. So they're not just piled anymore. They're beginning to be stacked like there's dry stone walling. And that gives the form much, much more energy, much more energy. And makes it a much more threatening form, too.
This one was in-- this was huge. It was 3 and 1/2 meters high, in a very enclosed space, in a room at the entrance to an exhibition I had of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park a year or so ago. And you had to walk around it. And it was kind of very, very intimidating.
And that was the very first one I did. I mean, what a mess that is.
This is at the Neuberger, New York-- Neuberger Museum. And this is another project that students helped-- or at least the exhibition that came out of this project. And it was a project-- now, as I said, I call these cairns, this form a cairn. And I call it that because cairns are traditionally piles of stones that mark pathways, often over mountains. So that when it snows, these can stick out of the snow. And you can find your way.
And they become like journey markers for me. I will often make them when I go to a different place, or a place that has meaning for me. And I was asked by Des Moines Art Center to do a project for them, a permanent project. And I was very conscious of the East/West component of America. But I hadn't done much work in the center.
So I decided to make a work about middle of America and its connections to the East and West Coast, particularly because the Des Moines Art Center-- you know, Des Moines is the butt of many jokes. And has the most extraordinary art center, with buildings by I.M. Pei, Saarinen, and Richard Meier. And they were brought-- it's quite an amazing set of buildings and an amazing collection.
And I felt like there was this sort of-- I sensed a certain neglect for places like De Moines. So I made a sculpture that had a component on the East Coast, which is this cairn, and a component on the West Coast, which is this cairn. This is at La Jolla Museum. They're both made both made of stone from the Midwest. And in Des Moines, there is a cairns. So there are three cairns.
And in De Moines, there are cavities-- spaced absences for each. There are three walls, with three holes, three cavities, with only one cairn there. So be the question is begged when you're at De Moines, where are the other two? Well, one's on the East Coast, one's on the West Coast, as are a lot of people from De Moines.
And other cairns that I've made-- this is actually at Joel and Sherry's house, when we were there. The roof insulate-- the spare roofing slate that came off their roof, which is still standing there, guardian-like. I like the sense of guardian quality these have.
Prior to the De Moines project, I did an ephemeral, kind of trying out the idea of the East/West/Midwest cairn. And this is what I made on the prairie at Cornell University. And this prairie had to be burnt. That is in the nature of prairies.
And that was quite an extraordinary event, that I managed to be there for the burning. And I've never experienced such heat. My camera was starting to melt and became tacky and too hot to touch. And then the grass grew back. So the cairn is just not marking-- my journey might be in it. But they're also there to mark changes that occur to the place.
On the coast-- I mean the tension. You can imagine the tide is coming in. And I have to make this before the tide comes in. So this is made in about three or four hours, four or five hours with pebbles.
a I spent the whole-- the first day it kept falling down. I think it was four or five collapses. And gave up-- well, I didn't give up. The tide came in. I didn't have a choice. Came back the next day and remade it and got it to stand. Oh, this amazing kind of experience, and watching it as the tide came in and eventually washed it away.
You know it's very difficult to describe something like that as just a simple decay or collapse. I mean it was just such a beautiful-- and painful thing to watch. When I invest all this time into the making of a work, there is a sense of loss when they are destroyed or decayed. But we all have to deal with loss, and come to terms with that, and try and understand it.
The Millennium, the village which I live in, which is here in Scotland, asked me to make a work for the Millennium. And there it is. That's a cairn. And it stands there as a guardian to the village. And that's it on the hill.
And I pass that every time I leave the village and every time I return. And it's a-- it's a-- well, you know.
It's just great. And it's wonderful to have works in my own home, permanent works, that I can watch as they change over time because I can see things like this. I saw the cows in the field. And cows are great because you stand in the field and they all want to come to you-- so a cairn in a landscape of cows.
Now, this is a cairn that I made for my first exhibition in New York at LeLong. And it is actually the reason why I'm here this week, is that the work was gifted to Cornell. And this week I am making the-- making this here.
It was originally made in Vermont slate. But I decided to remake it in Ithaca stone, the Lenroc, no Glenrock. It's Lenroc. I want to say Glenrock because I'm Scottish. Oh, that's so great. Thanks. Oh-- sorry.
And this was the-- where I was at. I arrived on Monday, began work on Tuesday. And this is the end of Tuesday. And I have to be back where I'm working, wherever it is, tomorrow also. I have to finish this. This is where I was end of yesterday.
And I was a little concerned that I might not finish. And I haven't finished yet. And that's where we are today. But I have to remake the top. I've just roughed up the top.
And I don't often make this form anymore. I think that I've extracted as much as I can for the moment from this work. And I haven't made the cairn for several years. I am only making it because of its relationship to an old cairn.
But I'm very happy to mark my time here by this work. I'm not telling you where it is because I do have to finish it tomorrow. And I do not-- I do not want to be disturbed. You will see a very grumpy, pissed off artist if any of you come to try and find tomorrow.
And you can find that out from the Andrew W. White program the day after tomorrow,
And it's also a peculiar thing because since making this work-- I've made the first one, I don't know-- years. It's been published. And now they're everywhere. And they're not mine.
This was in-- I was going to-- I was doing a big project in Aspen. And I went to the quarry. And there's this quarry town. And there it was, two. You can have them in pink. Or you can have them in buff.
I really don't know how to handle that kind of stuff. I don't know if it's great, or it's insulting, or I should get angry, or whatever. I just don't know how to. But there is obviously a huge difference between that--
And I suppose in some ways it is like the death blow for this idea in my work because, it's-- bfft, that's it. I won't make anymore. And that pushes me off into somewhere else. And that's fine.
I think the only time I can possibly do it-- I'd love to do a field of buried cairns, make them. And occasionally I see museums-- or I have been asked to make works for museums, where there's a grass lawn in front of the museum. And it's very difficult to make a site-specific work for a place that needs to have this area as a changing place for exhibitions.
So the idea of burying the sculpture in the field, in the grounds. And then digging them up every so often. So the sculpture would be really interesting, wouldn't it? And I love the idea of being-- standing on top of the sculpture and not knowing it's there. So that might cause me to do it again.
Anyway, this was for me a really great project in terms of collaborating with Cornell. And it was for the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. And this is the day of installation.
I was commissioned to make a garden for the museum. It was a Holocaust memorial garden. And my proposal was to make a group of stones, out of which trees would grow. Whenever I see a tree growing in an impossible situation like that-- and it's such a powerful expression, and the ability for life to survive in the most difficult circumstances. And I felt that was a very appropriate thing to make for a Holocaust memorial garden.
I had to find what tree to use. And I had a great class here, where I actually came here to find out. So we had horticulturalists talking about which trees that I might use. And eventually they suggested the dwarf oak Quercus prinoides I think.
Blimey me, just shows how Cornell rubbed off on me. Well, I'm sure I'll probably get corrected later on. And this one is in Boston at the Botanic Gardens. I went to see after that. And it a dwarf oak, which looks like a tree. And if we manage to get them to grow, it will be perfect.
And it wasn't just a matter of selecting a tree. The university was involved in giving me help and advice on how to look after the trees and what to expect. The stones came from upstate-- no, it came from Vermont. We went through upstate New York looking for stones, which funnily enough, near New York were like really expensive. And when you got to Vermont, they were wanting to pay you money to take them away.
And I was looking for stones-- you know, these are glacial bowls that have been on a journey. The glacier has carried them and deposited them, and then into fields. And then farmers have lifted them up, pulled them, and put them to the side of the field.
And so I like this sense of agriculture that was attached to them, since of journey that was attached to them. And what I was doing with them in taking them to New York was an extension, a continuation of that journey.
Now, it may surprise some people to see all these kind of tools that I use. There is an idea, especially after the film Rivers and Tides, as I just used my hand spit and whatever. And I use my hands and spit instead of glue because that's the best way to make some of the works that I make. And I love to use my hands. And that's very important to me.
But to not use tools when I need them would be like pretending I swam here, that I didn't take a picture with photographs. My art is very much about today. And I'm happy to use technology tools whenever I need it. But-- but it's very important that I keep that contact with the materials that I work with, the resistance of stuff. Now, they're key to touch.
When I made the cairn that I showed earlier, the wooden cairn, it was actually outside the Scripps Institute in La Jolla. And I was shown around the institute. It's a medical research institute. And they have a department there, with this incredible man that actually makes models of viruses-- these models. And I asked him, well, why with all this computer technology why do you have to make a model? Why can't you simulate it on a computer.
And he said, well, we need to touch it. We need to hold it in our hands, to feel it. And that's the same reason for why I have to make my work. And Bronowski, in The Ascent of Man, said, "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind." It's very important, that relationship between the hand and the mind.
Then I had to figure out how to hollow-- yes, I should explain. We have the boulder. And I have to hollow out the inside for the soil to go in, the earth to go in, for the tree to be planted. So we had to figure out how to do it.
So we tried drilling. This was an amazing process, where water was shot at the rock, which was getting really interesting because water, the wearing down. I much prefer this to the cutting, you know, somehow more in the spirit of the rock.
But eventually, it was we burnt the rocks out, which was just unbelievable because this is igneous stone. It's fire-formed. So we were working it with the thing that brought it into being. It was so spectacular. And we had to deal with this crazy 75-year-old Italian stonemason, who was the one in the suit, and scared to death.
And this was the day of planting. And that was a very powerful day. This is actually the director and the director's wife of the museum, with a student from Cornell, planting one of the oak trees. But many of the others were done by Holocaust survivors.
And that we'd filled the boulders with earth. And the trees came. And there wasn't enough from the ball of the root to fill. So we had to fill the hole first. So this is really a powerful, potent sense of kind of filling the hole with earth, which is very tomb-like. And then putting in the tree, which is-- it was the very mixture of life and death in the process.
And the trees have had a huge struggle. Many of them-- most of them died. Only one has survived from the original 17. But now they're all-- I think that they're all surviving. And the next couple of years, we'll see them grow, take off.
And for me, the sculpture will be at its peak when the tree grows big enough to fill the hole. And they'll just be wood and stone. And that's also the moment when the tree will die because it will eventually constrict itself. And I've asked that point, the trees should be left as dead trees until they want to replant them. So there's the cycle of life and death in the garden.
There are four stones at Cornell, which are the reserve stones for the museum should there be a problem with any of the stones here, but also to keep that connection to Cornell. And these are them here. This is what happens when you're not around to look after your sculptures. It gets this circle around it.
What I asked for was it should have a feeling kind of worn down, hardened ground around it. Yes, using the gravel stuff, but letting the grass kind of just be part of it. But gardens being gardens, it always has to have this line, and definition, and whatever? Have I made my point?
AUDIENCE: Point taken.
ANDY GOLDSWORTHY: Thank you very much.
And I mean, it's not-- it's not-- it's only because I haven't been here to explain these things. It is my fault. Because in my mind, I know exactly what should be done. And I can't believe no one else can't see it either.
I'd also like to try and raise the-- the earth has sunk. So I'd like to try and see if we can raise them up or see if some ways of filling in that hole-- anyway.
I was asked to make-- well, I'm often asked works for a particular place, in this case the roof garden of the Met, which is a difficult site. It's a really difficult site. It's a big space in terms of what is having to deal with, the skyline of New York. And there's a very small elevator reach in it, getting into it. This is tough stuff to deal with.
So I'm looking around. And I see stone and I see wood. So I want to make something about stone and wood. And New York, there's always this interest about New York as being this stopping off place, where people arrive. Things come from Europe and arrive in New York.
So I decided to bring stones from New York and make a balanced column of stones from the beach near to where I live. I grind a little bit of the top and bottom, so they sit. But they are basically balanced. This is how we lifted them off the beach, with a helicopter, which is incredible.
I mean it's really scary, because-- I thought they'd bring someone to hook the big metal thing onto the bags that-- I'd put them all into bags at low tide. And the tide came in. And the tide went out. And then we lifted the stones.
And no one came with them. So I had to wear a hard hat, to deal with this huge, kind of metal thing swinging through the air. And because the tide didn't go out as far, I was in the water. And when the sea rose, the helicopter went up. So there was this thing.
I had one hand on the bag, one hand on the metal thing, kind of going up and down in the air. It was-- I've done some pretty dangerous things in my career. That was I think one of the most.
They came to Cornell. This is where the stones met the wood, so to speak, to figure out the construction. And I had-- what is the name of the studios here?
AUDIENCE: Rock Stream.
ANDY GOLDSWORTHY: Rock Stream Studios, which was set up. So I worked out how it would all be here. And eventually, made them on the roof of the Met. And you couldn't go inside. You could just see them from the outside.
It was actually conceived for two places. It was conceived for the Met, but also a field in the Berkshires, not the same place that I worked in, with the walls, but a meadow. And I'd always liked that idea that early farmers had in America, that no matter how much they plowed and cleared the fields, that stone kept growing out of the field. They described them as growing out of the field.
And there's this sort of endless column-like work, which does just make references to Brancusi-- has a sense of growth. It's like the growth test. And I do like seeing stone as something growing.
So the prospect of putting it into a meadow as its final resting place, it's final site, was interesting to me. So I had these two places in mind for the same work. And in this meadow there were islands of bushes, which I love. So I proposed to make the work. And then grow an island of trees around it, so it was contained within the island.
I was asked to make a commission for the-- do a commission for the National Gallery in Washington, another project that was heavily supported by the university. And difficult-- I mean, they asked me to look at the Sculpture Garden. Do you know the Sculpture Garden in Washington? It's the one with the ice rink in the middle, which is the most hideous sculpture garden.
And as much as I would like to have made the work for the National Gallery, I wasn't prepared to make a work in that sculpture garden. It wasn't-- anyway. So then they said I could look around the perimeter of the gallery.
And then they offered me-- said, look, we don't know. But there's a site inside, which is the Japanese garden, that had been there as part of an exhibition about Japan. It had been for 25 years. It was only supposed to be a temporary garden.
And they were wanting it to be replaced with a work. And this was a much, much more interesting space. It was part of the architecture of the building. It's not an easy building. The I.M. Pei East Wing is not an easy building to deal with. So it was kind of a challenge to try and respond to the building.
And as part of the-- oh, incidentally, I did feel concerned about replacing the Japanese garden. And asked many people during the lead up to the project, I said-- I would tell them about the idea of the work that I was possibly going to make. And they say, where is it going to be? I said, you go through the main room. The entrance is the Henry Moore. You stand underneath the Calder.
And I say, what is to your left? And no one, but no one, knew what was there, even people who lived in Washington. So it had become this kind of unacknowledged space. And I was still very, very pleased when the widow of the person had built it said that he would have been-- that the original designer would have been very pleased at what I did.
But as part of my research for the place, I decided to go on-- visit and work in the quarries that had produced stone for Washington. I made this connection between the city and its origin. This is a Tennessee marble, which had these amazing kind of big, granite Henry Mooresque rocks embedded in clay, which I did produce ideas for, clay and rock for the space.
I also worked in the quarry that made the stone from which-- where it had come-- from the stone from wherever-- had come. I am so tired, I tell you. I worked long hours today. Anyway, we'll do OK-- for the White House, amongst other buildings.
It's really, really interesting to go over this kind of overgrown, neglected quarry, but all the sense of the people having worked there, in relationship to the buildings that have come out of them. I find that fascinating going to the place that produced the buildings.
It makes you realize it is stone. It is earth. It is nature. They're all buildings of nature. And those are the kind of connections that I tried to make when I work in an urban or a city context.
Eventually, I decided-- the space-- what was really most striking about the space was its light. It was faced north. It got no sunlight at all. I loved that light. It's very British.
Colors are so intense under a gray British light. It's not that kind of fancy light that's caused by sunlight. The color comes out of the material under a gray light. And black holes are so black under a gray sky. So I wanted to make something with a black hole. And black holes have reoccurred in my work since 1981-- no, '76.
And I had to figure out a way of making the hole, like I had to make something to support it. And decided to make domes that would hold the black hole. And that was a really interesting idea because obviously domes feature very strongly in Washington.
But to take one off the roof and put it on the ground is like saying this is stone of the ground, the earth. And the sculpture was called Roof. And prior to making the work, I made many, many drawings, trying to figure out the system and structure, the underlying structure for the sculpture. How many would fit in there?
And structure is very important to me. The systems that occur within a sculpture are very important. The way something is made is critical to the feel of the work.
And-- anyway, those were the drawings. I did hundreds and hundreds of drawings. And I did a test in the quarry in Virginia. Unfortunately, this was cut a little short because I went and cut my hand and had to be taken to hospital.
And then we started on the sculpture itself, which was probably the most grueling, difficult sculpture I've ever had to make. It was made in winter. It was freezing cold. And it was a grim sight.
It is protected from the rain. But it is so cold. And the dust from the machines, and the tools, and the noise were so intense. And there was a glass division here, that separated the garden-- the place from the gallery. And people would just kind of watching me.
It became quite a spectacle. It actually was hilarious because it got quite a crowd around. And the day of finishing, there was a lot of people waiting for the last stone to go on. And it snowed in Washington. And in Washington, the public buildings close early when it snowed.
So all these people couldn't see the last stone go on. It was nearly a riot.
And this is the work. And one of them almost collapsed. We had to rebuild it. But in the collapsing, I figured it all out. And it is all perfect. That's the day I finished. Don't I look dreadful? I felt so tired after that one.
And this is it. I revisited it last week. I am working near Washington at the moment. And it comes into the gallery. It doesn't actually go through the glass. But it goes up to the glass on either side. I wanted it to penetrate the space.
So when you come into the gallery, this is what you see, these domes. But you can't see the tubs. And you have-- it's when you go upstairs and look down, that you get this perspective. It's taken me a long time to be able to go back and deal with it as a space.
So anyway, these are the Met piece that are now being built in their final home. And whilst-- I did two projects at the same time here, and both were done with students and my whole crew of stonemasons, which are just fantastic guys, really great to work with. They travel a lot with me.
Now, this was in London as an exhibition. Because actually going inside the domes is pretty interesting. I think it was just so powerful to be there with the stones, without just looking in. So I did an installation, where you could actually stand. The gallery was brave enough to do it.
They are balanced. Then I started to think, oh, this space is really interesting without the stones. And so I decided to make a room for an exhibition out in Yorkshire last year, which was just a wood room. And you entered this space. And it was like stepping into the stomach of a tree.
And I also was asked to do an installation in the Palacio de Cristal in Madrid, which is a-- if Washington was the most difficult permanent piece I've ever made, this was the most difficult installation I've ever, ever done. It's a amazing space, very powerful space. Or not powerful, but just a very strong space to deal, in this big glass house.
And I proposed to make domes of wood. And the forms echo the architecture of the buildings because are in between the columns. These ovals and the circles are defined by the columns of the building. So the architecture dictated the proportions and shape of my work. So I wanted to make that architectural reference.
I also was going to make one here. But the only entrance into this building is this. That's the only way you're going to get materials in here. And I couldn't handle it, trying to get them in. And I was going to do a wooden cone in here. But instead, I put it out there, to deal with the whole space.
And this is just building the work. The trees came from about an hour out of Madrid. And there was a palpable sense of anger in the people in the park at all these trees. One of the guards for the exhibition penned a note to the installation, saying there is no justification to kill any living thing whatsoever, even for art.
And there was a-- there was this-- anyway. So, in fact, everybody hated it from the outside because they didn't know what was going on. Now, when we had breaks, the sitting on the steps, people used to-- what the.
And one guy came up to me one day and said, it's good. I was just about to say, oh, great. Thanks. And he said, for what?
And that response was one of the reasons for making the work because the trees came from plantations outside of Madrid. And the trees were already cut down, about to be brought into the city as MDF board or paper. And had I made the installation out of MDF or paper, no one would have given a shit.
And that was really an important reason for bringing-- the paper, the end is nature. It is nature. There is this connection. To know where things come from is very important to me, to acknowledge that.
And at a lecture that I gave there, I said I did not cut down these trees. You did. And I just borrowed them. And afterwards, they went on to become MDF and paper after the exhibition.
Anyway, the domes obviously referred to the building. And people could go inside the structures. It's just me making-- because on the mountains, on the top of the mountain, the trees, the scotch pine grew curved. And lower down, it grew straight.
So there were two growth patterns to the same tree, which always interests me. And I decided to-- I thought I'd just show you how these are done. Well, you know-- actually, and this installation really unnerved-- the rain is a fear. This is the museum that was dealing with it.
And the director resigned during the installation. She was the big support-- not because of my installation. But she was a huge supporter of the work. And when she went, they were leaderless and really unnerved. And they got-- I had an architect come and watch me every day, to see what I was doing-- and then a committee of engineers and architects.
And I said, look, I can explain how the domes are mean. But this is just magic.
And they're so strong. You know, you just cannot move them, yet they feel so fragile.
Anyway, this is the view from inside looking at the cairn. And there are just these empty spaces to walk around. They were huge. I don't think I could handle that again for a while. But it was really, really, really a beautiful thing in the end. But it's one of those things that I even now have a little trouble watching.
This is Jacob Ehrenberg, my project manager in America, who the students all love. Don't they? Don't laugh at that. Standing on a rock at the place where the round, stacked forms at the Berkshires, that I showed very early on, was made. Well, I returned to make a sculpture.
And I loved-- I like these glacial boulders. These big boulders have become-- although they've been on a journey, they'd made this their home. And they'd sunk into the place, to the point where people didn't even-- when you look at them, you don't feel that they've come from anywhere else but that place. And I like that idea of a stone making the place in which it's come to rest it's home. So I decided to make a home for it.
It was huge when we excavated it. You move it. It's just a great work. That's why I love this piece. I didn't move the stone, just changed the surroundings to the stone.
So imagine, you're in the woods.
And you enter this. And, of course, being dark in a wood-- you know, you're thinking are there any animals in here or whatever? And you step inside. And it's fills the space. You have to actually squeeze around it.
And when you first go, you can't see. It is totally dark. It's totally dark. You have to move around this stone.
The idea of the house fascinates me, this idea of a house containing a house for a rock, or for the ground, or for the earth. And this shock of entering what is normally sanctuary, and finding it occupied by something else that you wouldn't really expect. And the house is part of the sculpture. I've made many in the South of France, for a big project that I'm working on there, where I'm rebuilding churches and houses on top of the mountains as refuges for people to sleep in.
However, this is a project that I'm working on now, just finished this project, which is just outside of Washington, in Maryland. And again, this is the one where the students really had to work. They pounded the clay for this piece.
Because inside, these houses are works made from clay. And when I first came to the place, the man who owned the property was building a museum. And the clay was everywhere. So I wanted to make a work about the ground, the earth that was there, the clay.
And then I had to figure out how to do to protect the raw clay work. And came the idea of three houses, sunk into the banking. And they need to-- they've only just been finished. So they need to wear down, you get a little untidy. And this is the inside of one of the houses. I'm building a kind of a cone at the back wall of the building, which I then worked clay into, into a series of rings.
And as it dried-- then it dries. Yeah, then it dries. You know, you finish the work. And then the drying, it's like the work comes to life in all these cracks, which are tremendously exciting. And this forms this patina, which was a bit of a shock because I didn't expect it. And when I first saw it, I thought, oh, it's deceased.
And then I've grown to really like it. And I figured out that it's actually the salt content in the water we were using. I think so, anyway.
This-- oh, I could have done with you guys then for this project. I tell you, it would have been-- I couldn't figure out what was happening. But I think it is the salt content in the water.
Of course, it was very important to know that because in one of the other houses I didn't want this patination to happen. And that's how it turned. And it continues to go darker.
It's very difficult to describe in an image, this. You're opening the door. And you have to have a key for the door. So you open the door. And you open it. And it's a bit dark again. And then your eyes adjust. And there's this clay work.
And the clay came from the foundations of the middle house. They all came from the place. And that's how it's looking now, going-- it's maturing-- or getting worse, depends how you look at it.
And this is in the middle house, which the whole of the interior is covered in clay, even the ceiling-- the floor, the ceiling. You stand on a cantilevered stone, that you stand in the room. But you look below you, there's clay.
The beam is covered in clay. Everything is clay, entirely clay covered. And the plasterer from my village in Scotland, he did the finishing for me. He's been all over the world finishing things. I put the clay on. But I don't have that ability to get a really sharp, clean edge, which was so necessary for the cracks to work against.
And that's looking down into the floor, on one of the corners. And again, it is impossible to really show this in an image. But when I went back this time and stood there, the cracks have this sense of-- it's as if the building expands. So I'm looked into the night sky, the sense of expansion. It just disappears, through the floor, through the wall. I'm quite excited about that one.
Just before making it, I did what I feel is one of my strongest indoor installations. And this was at Galerie LeLong in New York. And for years, I've worked with clay, on walls, putting on wall, putting on floors.
And the intention is that it doesn't fall off. But there's always this fear that it will fall off. But I've always wanted to do one where it was intended to all off. So we did this-- I did this installation with white porcelain clay, which is a material that comes into the city in huge quantities, in the form of cups and saucers. But again, people don't realize that that is clay. It is, too.
So it's an appropriate material to bring in. It is also white. So when the gallery was finished, there was nothing in it. It was just white, a white gallery, nothing in it. And people would come in, look, and go out again.
And I worked-- we worked. We finished. We did the final coat, finishing off during the night. So we opened this pristine-- and no cracks. But obviously, as it began to dry, the gallery kind of collapsed. It was the most scary thing to stand in.
And it was much more violent than I thought it would be. I mean, it's was very beautiful. But it was really violent, too, I think.
When the first cracks happened-- I remember going in. And the staff of the gallery was like, an accident had happened. And the whole language was, oh, it's so terrible. Is it going to be-- it's so bad.
And will there be anything here for the opening, which is on Saturday? And it was like this-- it really hit deeply a nerve, to see the gallery doing this. I had to have a kind of like, it's OK. It's OK. But even I was shocked, know I was so shocked.
It actually bit into the wall. And it pulled the wall out, and revealed where other artists had shown. See that square rectangle over there. So it revealed the archeology of the building below.
I'd like to do a version of this where it is repeated, that there's a room. And it could actually be done without me, as long as it's built it to my specifications, which is unusual for any work of mine.
But to-- where it's put on, and falls off. Obviously, I can't have it ripping the walls off. But I like this-- it's like that stone wall that's only 10 yards. I just like this sense of energy of what people put into the memory of the building. It falls off.
You put back on it. It falls off. You put it back on. You know what it's like going to work every day? You put it on. It falls off. You put it on.
This cyclical thing that goes on. And the present of memory that's in that place. Anyway, I can't get anybody to take it.
And this is me working on the final house at Glenstone, which is where the other three-- the three houses. And this is a large boulder of earth that I've made. It's rounded earth, that I've carved round and I'm covering with clay. This is what I've just been doing this last couple of weeks prior to coming to Cornell. And it's where I'm going tomorrow to see how it's getting on.
And what I'm doing is, I'm covering the boulder with a final layer of three inches of clay. And this is like the stone in the house, too-- and obviously see cracking now. Isn't that great, yeah.
I mean, it's going to a crack a lot. It's three inches is quite deep for-- the house, with the cracks on the walls and ceiling is only an inch. These are going to be quite substantial.
And I don't-- I've never done one before. So I don't really know if the base underneath is going to hold. I think it will. But there's always that element of tension and doubt.
And the clay is held together entirely by hair, human hair. I use human hair because you can hardly-- you don't see it when you first go in. But if you look deep in the cracks, it's there. And I like that sense of people being bound up in the houses, in the work.
And this is-- then we have a whole crew. And the students from Cornell have work so hard in this. And this is Gerri Jones, who organized so perfectly every project that I have done with Cornell. And she's quite a remarkable woman, who is really-- I have an unbelievable worker. And I really have to thank Gerri for all the work you have done in getting these projects so well supported. And you're just great company to have, too, around.
And these tables-- students-- all their efforts, all the effort you've put in, all the work you did on these tables, what you probably didn't realize is that I actually-- they are canvas covered because it's a very practical surface. But after they're finished, I stretched them. And they're actually painting.
And I've done this for several years. And they're really, really beautiful. They become these-- they're like landscapes of work. And they are ingrained with the process of memory. And each work, each table, has a different quality.
This photograph is just a very shabby, shabby image of what is a really beautiful, beautiful texture and surface. So all of your effort and all your work will be remembered, just as-- you know, when I lay down on a rock and I make a rain shadow, it's like the memory of me having been there on a road-- or really on the road. And I had to leap up before the car came.
It's sometimes a little difficult because people want to resuscitate me.
And I can't move because I'm-- except in New York, where nobody cares.
You know, people perhaps don't understand that. But I would like to acknowledge that there is this very strong human content to what I do, the houses, the shadows. The human presence is always in my work. I'm not trying to mimic nature. I am nature. What I make is nothing other than the touch of other person.
And that's Joel and Sherry at the cairn today. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joel and Sherry for having initiated this.
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Internationally acclaimed environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy, renowned for using natural materials to create striking images and unusual structures, delivered the last address of his eight-year term as an A.D. White Professor-At-Large on April 18 in Call Auditorium. He urged viewers to look beneath the surface of his eye-catching works and notice the internal structures, the interplay of natural objects and the energy of the materials used.
Goldsworthy's last message to his students: "You're all in my work. It might not be readily apparent in the surface, but if you look deep enough, you're all in there."