Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Tree Unadorned

(A New Autotelism: VII)

Andy Goldsworthy, out in the morning, the winter, and the wilderness, is working to the rhythm the sun, though the it has not yet risen. He is alone, and has brought no tools. Beside him rests a pile of large icicles, and he is going to work.

Snapping, spitting, and re-freezing the ice at a pace just a bit faster than seems comfortable, he must finish his work before the day warms up, and his saliva will no longer freeze.

As the sun rises, he completes the work.

Hanging uncannily around the trunk of a tree, levitating over the snow, is a spiral of ice. It doesn't seem to touch the tree at all; but it grows from it. The spiral begins high on the trunk, the tip made from the most delicate icicle, and already a glinting layer of liquid water has formed as it melts. The ice loops around the trunk again and again, growing thicker and bolder, surging to several inches across by its end.

Before the day is done, it will have crashed to the ground. The photos, once developed, are breathtakingly beautiful. Goldsworthy calls the work 'Tree soul.'


  1. when was ice spiral made???? and where

    1. Date: December 28th, 1995
      Location: Glen Marlin Falls, Dumffrieshire, Scottland
      Hope this helps! (: