Environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy is famous for his works made from natural materials. He works in the landscape, as well as creating installations for art galleries and museums.
He did not like working in art studios when he was an art student, preferring to work outside. He has even made a sculpture at the North Pole!
Teach your children about Andy Goldsworthy using our handy topic guide!
- Working in the school grounds or another suitable outdoor space, children can work in groups to make natural sculptures. This lesson plan from RHS Wisley has a useful structure to follow and questions to ask.
- Show children this video clip from BBC Bitesize as a stimulus to discuss the temporary nature of Goldsworthy’s work.
- Look at the images of the work of other land artists on this blog post. What similarities and differences can you see with Goldsworthy’s work?
- Ask children to choose one of Goldsworthy’s (or their own) works and write a description of it. What kind of vocabulary can they use?
- Explore symmetry in environmental art and make some natural mandalas.
Andy Goldsworthy Facts
- Sculptor Andy Goldsworthy was born on the 26th of July 1956 in Sale, Cheshire, England.
- When he was a teenager, he worked as a farm labourer.
- Goldsworthy’s work is ephemeral, meaning it quickly disappears. He uses photographs to record the creation and decay of his work.
- Goldsworthy has published more than 20 books about his art.
- To make his sculptures, Goldsworthy uses only natural materials.
Rivers and tides
This snippet from a longer film shows Goldsworthy working with natural materials, as well as water and ice, and discussing how he makes his art.
Running time: 3:12
A fascinating film showing Goldsworthy making some art near his home in Scotland.
Running time: 6:29
This video is a montage of many of Goldsworthy’s works, and is useful for showing children the breadth and range of his art.
Running time: 3:39
Temporary Land Art: Richard Shilling
A short video on the stunning work of Richard Shilling, an artist who is inspired by Andy Goldsworthy.
Running time: 4:19
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!