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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Friday, May 01, 2009
    Good art keeps you warm
    It is early morning on the Nova Scotia coast. On jagged rocks above icy waters, in sub-zero temperatures, a man is at work. He is collecting icicles and, using only his bare fingers and teeth, is breaking the cylinders into smaller pieces and reshaping them into a sculpture which he is slowly weaving around the dark stone.

    ‘Good art keeps you warm,' he says. ‘When it goes wrong – then you feel the cold.’ Andy Goldsworthy’s work is precarious: one slip, one misplaced piece, and the whole intricate structure can collapse. On this occasion his sculpture holds, and as the artist stands back to take a long view of his creation the morning sun aligns to the rock, causing the thin, winding ice shape to shine. It is a breathtakingly beautiful image, which causes Goldsworthy – a man of few, but precious, words – to say, ‘This place has potential.’
    This is the opening of my review of Rivers and Tides, the Andy Goldsworthy film by Thomas Riedelsheimer, which appears today in the Iona Community's April ebulletin (April? It's May 1st today. Let it pass). It is an outstanding, mesmerising, and very beautiful film. Click to see the review in full.

    Film still: Artificial Eye