Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Found Art

This past year, I've noticed that a number of people visiting the Island have been inspired to create temporary art from found objects or objects from nature:

This piece features a metal hub washed ashore many years ago, with scavenged bits a metal inserted.

This is an ambitious structure near British Landing, it's nearly ten feet long - "Arch Rock West"? I can't wait to bike out and see if it survived the winter.

These two are more modest in scale, but still compelling:

I have to wonder if these artists were inspired by Andy Goldsworthy, an environmental sculptor who uses the natural world to create an art form. He explores and experiments with various natural material such as leaves, grasses, stones, wood, sand, clay, ice, and snow. The seasons and weather determine the materials and the subject matter of his projects. With no preconceived ideas about what he will create, Goldsworthy relies on what nature will give him. Goldsworthy "feels" the energy from nature and transcends that energy into an art form.

Because of this fleeting quality of nature, Goldsworthy uses photographs to document his work. "Each work grows, stays, decays- integral parts of a cycle which the photograph shows at its height, marking the moment when the work is most alive. There is an intensity about a work at its peak that I hope is expressed in the image. Process and decay are implicit."-Andy Goldsworthy.

I first became aware of his work when I watched the DVD "Rivers and Tides" - I highly recommend it!

I've been mulling over some ideas for creating my own work and look forward to discovering new pieces created by other visitors this season.


  1. wow! i'm so excited to read from an artist on mackinac island! i visited there several years ago and fell in love. it must be a perfect place for creative endeavors.

  2. the structure near British Landing makes me long to return to the emerald isle! it's a small fraction in scale to what i experienced there but reminiscent non the less

  3. Andy Goldsworthy rocks (bad pun). In my art class in college, we did a project where we went to a hiking trail and did different temporary artworks using the materials around us. I weaved strips of glass together to hang off tree branches. Yes we did document the work too.

  4. Mackinac is just full of inspiration for me as an artist. We have a view year rounders who are artists, but even more who spend the season. Summer brings lots of opportunity to interact with painters, photographers, poets, sculptors - something to look forward to!

  5. I love Goldworthy....I just stacked rocks for the first time in 09 this week! It was amazing and felt soooo good! It has been such a long winter.

  6. Love the beach sculptures! We get that around here from time to time. Think I'll have to give it a shot next time I'm at the beach. :)