Andy Goldsworthy


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Andy Goldsworthy OBE (born 26 July 1956) is an English sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist who produces site-specific sculptures and land art situated in natural and urban settings. Goldsworthy was born in Cheshire on 26 July 1956, the son of Muriel (née Stanger) and F. Allin Goldsworthy (1929–2001), a former professor of applied mathematics at the University of Leeds. 

He grew up on the Harrogate side of Leeds. From the age of 13, he worked on farms as a laborer. He has likened the repetitive quality of farm tasks to the routine of making sculpture: "A lot of my work is like picking potatoes; you have to get into the rhythm of it." He studied fine art at Bradford College of Art from 1974 to 1975 and at Preston Polytechnic (now the University of Central Lancashire) from 1975 to 1978, receiving his BA from the latter.

After leaving college, Goldsworthy lived in Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cumbria. He moved to Scotland in 1985, first living in Langholm and then settling a year later in Penpont, where he still resides. It has been said that his gradual drift northwards was "due to a way of life over which he did not have complete control," but that contributing factors were opportunities and desires to work in these areas and "reasons of the economy."

In 1993, Goldsworthy received an honorary degree from the University of Bradford. He was an A.D. White Professor-At-Large in Sculpture at Cornell University from 2000–2006 and from 2006–2008.

In 2003, Goldsworthy produced a commissioned work for the entry courtyard of San Francisco's de Young Museum called "Drawn Stone," which echoes San Francisco's frequent earthquakes and their effects. His installation included a giant crack in the pavement that broke off into smaller cracks and broken limestone, which could be used for benches. The smaller cracks were made with a hammer adding unpredictability to the work as he created it.

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