From time to time, I’ve discussed the nature of art and artists here. But I often feel there is a difficulty in conveying what is so unique and special about the creative experience. In a way, it reminds me of the religious experience. If someone is not a religious person himself, he can read about the theology of a religion, about the lives of saints, about the life style in a monastery… he can read the bible or a prayer book, visit a church, or watch someone cross themselves as they hear a certain type of news… and still, all of the above remains foreign to them. It doesn’t explain the devotion, or the commitment to a very specific relationship to the world.


There is something like that about the creative artist. From the outside, he may look like a rogue or a rebel He can have any number of personal foibles or faults. He may even look a little ridiculous. When looking at art, each of us has his personal taste. We find ourselves drawn to a certain type of artist, or a certain type of artistic expression. But even if we love those types of art… even if we are inspired… it is still hard to understand the true nature of the life of an artist. For the artist takes risks, and makes a commitment, and is constantly being tested… an artist lives on the edge… he or she is like a tight rope walker, traveling through the air… and the intensity of the experience is hard to understand if one has not lived it.


The other day, I saw a documentary film about the work of Andy Goldsworthy, a very special and wonderful artist. The documentary was produced by Thomas Riedelsheimer. I used to love watching movies. But lately, I’ve had a number of disappointments, and lost some of the enthusiasm I once had. This film is a full length feature. The quality of the copy is not as good as I would have hoped for. But the film is one of the very best I have seen in the last five years at least. It is not easy for me to recommend watching a movie that lasts an hour and a half. But I definitely think it’s worth it. The name of the movie is ‘Rivers and Tides’


Goldsworthy’s work is environmental sculpture. Much of his work is intentionally perishable. That is, he allows nature to take his work on to a new dimension. As I watched the movie, I had the feeling that even a non artist would be able to understand a lot about the creative experience, while watching this. I especially look forward to the comments of those who have had the stamina to watch this movie in its entirety. I think I’m going to see it a few more times, as I plan to encourage some of my friends to see the movie with me.

This is the link:


thanks to Jacqueline for the recommendation

tags: art, sculpture, artist, documentary, photos, Nechama