Andy Goldsworthy Rowan Leaves Laid Around Hole Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 1987 (Scholastic Art 3) Also found online at http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2010/04/art-of-andy-goldsworthy-part-1.html#
Describe • Goldsworthy’s Rowan Leaves Laid Around Hole is a nonobjective sculpture made of repeating shapes and colors. Hundreds of oblong leaves colored with maroon, red, orange, and yellow radiate from an outer circle in towards a black circle in the center. The thick band of maroon leaves form the outer circle followed by a band of red leaves which transition into a thin band of orange and then a thicker circular band of yellow leaves. Each leaf is from the same type of tree as listed in the title. The shape of each leaf is the same oblong, thinly convex shape even though the colors vary. The center is a black circle. Along the outer corners there is a dark, brownish dirt ground with traces of twigs and fallen leaves. Andy Goldsworthy Rowan Leaves Laid Around Hole Yorkshire Sculpture Park 1987 (Scholastic Art 3)
Analyze • The dark, black circular shape is emphasized as the focal point, because it is in the center of all of the warmer colored leaves. The center circle or hole creates negative space as it feels like a void amongst the other colored shapes. This contrast of space and color makes it stand out. The colors and shapes create radial balance due to the warm, analogous color scheme and the way they are arranged in a radial pattern. The texture and colors also create unity because of their repetition. Together they feel harmonious and lead the eye in a circular path toward the center.
Interpret • Goldsworthy creates a warm, fiery sculpture with a bulls-eye dead center. The negative space created by this black circle feels as if you could fall into it. His use of common objects found outdoors in nature creates a colorful sculpture that transcends the leaves; it looks mesmerizing and more intriguing than simply the original leaves that one sees on trees. One can get lost in the circular pattern. The sculpture also uses the circle as a symbol which possibly represents infinity or no beginning and no end. It feels complete and whole.
Judge • Using the aesthetic theory of emotionalism, I feel this sculpture is a success, because it evokes a warm feeling and creates a space in which I get lost. Formally, it is compositionally strong due to the radial balance and warm color scheme that unifies it. It wouldn’t be fair to judge it according to the imitationalsim theory, since it is a non-objective piece that isn’t intended to look realistic. It goes beyond realism and creates a more symbolic meaning due to the symbol of the circle. Overall, it is an eye-catching and thought-provoking sculpture.