Pattern As Environmentalism
ANDREW GOLDSWORTHY (b. 1956)
Rowan Leaves Laid Around Hole, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 25 October 1987 (photograph)
“Just at present you only see the tree by the light of the lamp. I wonder when you would ever see the lamp by the light of the tree.” 
Andrew Goldsworthy subverts our experience of nature to make us look at it afresh. Goldsworthy is an environmental artist who uses the raw materials of the landscape (leafs and petals, twigs and thorns, snow and ice, mud and rocks) and sympathetically manipulates them to create an unexpected sense of order within the unrestricted growth of the natural environment. His sculptures are hidden in plain sight and if you encounter one while on a stroll through the woods, it feels as if some alien intelligence has been at work - and to some extent it has, as something new has been brought into being by the consciousness of the artist in collaboration with the spirit of nature.
Goldsworthy is aware of the ephemeral qualities of his work, so he documents his activity with exquisite photographs in a series of inspirational books. 'Rowan Leaves Laid Around Hole' uses the changing pigmentation of autumn leaves to create a circular pattern of colors. It radiates energy in a sunburst of vibrant yellows, through flaming reds to a deep purple that subtly blends into the browns and blacks of the earth. At its center lies the invisible source of its power - a black hole beyond the black of any pigmentation. There is something of the cosmic in the art of Andrew Goldsworthy.
FRIEDENSREICH HUNTERWASSER (1928 - 2000)
Irinaland Over The Balkans, 1969 (mixed media)
Friedensreich Hunterwasser was an uncompromising artist and architect whose unique imagery stems from his animistic view of the world. Animism is an ancient belief in the spiritual bond between all natural forms and elements: humans, animals, plants, earth, air, fire and water. Hunterwasser was a dyed in the wool environmentalist who communicated his 'green' philosophy in his every thought and action, even to the extent where he prepared his own paints and media to ensure their eco-friendly credentials.
Hunterwasser declared that 'The straight line is something cowardly drawn with a rule, without thought or feeling; it is a line which does not exist in nature.' . Consequently his paintings are ingrained with contours that define their space in the manner of natural wood grain or onion ring patterns. 'Irinaland Over The Balkans' combines his ideology and artistry in one organic image. The face of Irina Maleewa, a Bulgarian actress who had a relationship with Hunterwasser, blends with the Balkan landscape to suggest their animistic bond. All the elements of the painting live and breathe though a circulatory system of line and color which pulses with expressive energy around and between each component of the composition.