'Incredible Serpentine Tree Roots', a sculpture, piece of art and photograph in one. Goldsworthy's background interest in nature, and here his own opinion towards his works and interests links this free handed process of using the mud/sand to create this - "I enjoy the freedom of just using my hands and "found" tools--a sharp stone, the quill of a feather, thorns. I take the opportunities each day offers: if it is snowing, I work with snow, at leaf-fall it will be with leaves; a blown-over tree becomes a source of twigs and branches. I stop at a place or pick up a material because I feel that there is something to be discovered. Here is where I can learn." Created for art, made in YEAR, fairly modern, the only way you can tell this is because of the professional photo quality which must have been used from modern technology, otherwise the natural creation could have been produced at any time because of Goldsworthy's simple yet accurate process. It can link with history, because of the ancient tree which has obviously taken a good century to grow, it shows unseen life because the roots not only look amazing but were created in the way in which they are seen underground, showing the gradual life cycle of the tree growing. Goldsworthy's works differ from each other so this definitely comes across as his own movement and with more individuality than anything else in this modern period, he works with whatever he can and whatever takes his fancy rather than following anything specific.
The process of the work was Goldsworthy sculpturing the roots with his hands, using the sand which was slightly damp and involved mud for the solid effect rather than it crumbling, the composition was decided upon the trees realistic underground features, it looks made up, serpent like and imaginary but is actually the trees basic appearance underground, trees of this size have magnificent roots and this shows this natural composition over ground rather than under, the photographs composition focuses only on the tree and the roots and the low angle it has been taken from makes the roots looks superior to even the tree, no unnecessary space is left, the rather rectangular shape emphasizes height on the tree, the small amount of background space is easily taken up by more natural features, ground, mud and other tree branches, the season must have been autumn because of the visible leaves fallen to the ground in the background. This was a perfect time to produce this artwork in particular because of the bear branches look well with the roots which wouldn't have leaves on them. The scale of the actual work is obviously bigger than the photograph, around 10metres long altogether, the fact the roots are created to be life size also shows the realistic side to Goldsworthy’s work. Texture and shape are the most important formal elements in this work, the shape of the roots bending around each other is needed to make the sculpture look right altogether, and the smoothened texture isn't realistic but gives a more simple appearance to the sculpture showing its magnificence rather than actual texture, also seems more serpent like. they are symbolic to the underground appearance of the tree, they could symbolise the age of it. The tone of the whole composition comes naturally rather than being created as does the colour, although the darkness of the tree contrast with the 'roots' which Goldsworthy has chosen to be the same material (mud) as the ground perhaps representing the underneath rather than the over ground actual tree. I would associate the work with landscape, even though it isn't a full one it shows a natural scene but in a portrait composition, which could mean more life to the tree as a living plant, it could fit into more than one category but mostly stands for its own purpose, personal to Goldsworthy, not commercial and very alive although rather still. I think he is trying to present the unseen in his natural way of producing art, the earthy roots representing the underground and also associating well with the title, they looks serpent like, like a large snake which brings in fantasy to the composition because of its appearance being similar to a creature, the title also helps to create power in the photograph because of its powerful words relating to something usually quite large and strong. The theme is definitely nature and natures power, it relates to the life cycle of nature and how this is often overlooked or unseen. The photograph moves away from the idea of something busy or rural relating to people, but explores something more silent, yet still shows life, the silence is quite relaxing to look at, nothing but natural aspects are shown which add to this. The accurate interpretation I have been given on this photo came from http://www.morning-earth.org/artistnaturalists/an_goldsworthy.html which features Goldsworthy' own opinions, although he explains what he likes to work with and how he does this, the meaning of the work is open for individual reading rather than an actual explanation.
My personal response to the work, it reminds me of exploring in a forest or park, but seeing something more interesting such as the roots in this picture, a more twisted version of nature. I like it because although it looks simple, it must have taken time and accuracy to produce and I can see a deeper meaning in it, it is different to anything usual which gives it a lot of originality, I think differently about it after realising that the roots were actually what was underground and not just there to look cool. The only sense provoked is silence, the narrative almost tells a story of time and ageing in the tree, showing its life from start to what we see it as. It tells this long story simply by one picture rather than words. The first thing that came into my head when I saw this piece was snakes because of the roots, overall they capture my attention mostly.