Leaning Into The Wind: Andy Goldsworthy


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Leaning Into The Wind
"Riedelsheimer also has an artist's eye and approach, so this is less a recording of Goldsworthy than a dialogue between his work and that of the filmmaker."

Andy Goldsworthy is captured not only leaning into the wind but also clambering through hedgerows, climbing trees and lying in the rain in this thoughtful consideration of the work of the artist. Thomas Riedelsheimer returns to the work of Goldsworthy after 2001 film Rivers And Tides, travelling with him to far-flung places, including Berlin, San Francisco and his regular Dumfries stomping ground, to capture the artist at work.

Breaking the more meditative sections watching the artist at work or viewing the landscape he is in, Goldsworthy speaks to the camera. The idea of the artist as a seeker of truth is strong in the film, as he mentions trying to "make sense of the world" more than once. It's a patient and diligent pursuit, that often requires him to be shaped by nature as much as he works with it, such as when an attempt to lay bright yellow leaves on to rocks is constantly thwarted by the wind.

Copy picture

Riedelsheimer also has an artist's eye and approach, so this is less a recording of Goldsworthy than a dialogue between his work and that of the filmmaker, who also finds art in nature, using techniques such as stop-motion to good effect, or capturing the moment when Goldsworthy's work is on the cusp between nature and his emerging art. Helping to marry the two is a terrific jazz-inflected score from Fred Frith, it's unexpected flights well-suited to Goldsworthy's imagination.

Biographical detail is scant. There is mention of his ex-wife and collaborator Judith, who died in 2008, and a nod to his current work with daughter Holly - pleasingly captured on early family film as well as seen helping her dad here. The focus, however, is firmly on the art and on the way that Goldsworthy seems to 'collaborate' with nature. He is a keen observer, happy to shin up a tree in order to shake free the pollen in a mighty cloud, but his is also mindful of his affect on the landscape, at one point retreating from something that seems to him like a violation.

The film conveys plenty of information about Goldsworthy at work but also leaves room for more abstract contemplation by the viewer, a welcome, peaceful place from which to consider our place in the wider world.

Reviewed on: 29 Jun 2017
Share this with others on...
Documentary showing Andy Goldsworthy at work.
Amazon link

Director: Thomas Riedelsheimer

Starring: Andy Goldsworthy

Year: 2017

Runtime: 93 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2017

Search database: