Ian Scott Massie's Newsletter: art, exhibitions, workshops, news.

Ian Scott Massie : May 2012

This newsletter looks at Land Art and at one of its first galleries - Grizedale Forest.  There's also mention of one of its finest practitioners - Andy Goldsworthy. Plus news, events, reviews and art courses coming up.


Grizedale Forest – Cumbria’s pioneering Land Art Gallery

Taking a Wall For A Walk, Andy Goldsworthy

In the 1980s and 1990s Grizedale Forest in Cumbria established a sculpture trail. Artists were invited to submit ideas for commissions, and the chosen few were given studio space at the Forest’s own studios and help in creating their vision. Some of the finest sculptors from across the world emerged as a result of this and similar initiatives producing, for the most part, work which was intended to be ephemeral, lasting only as long as the weather and materials allowed it to.

Chieftain in a Hot Spot, Andy Frost

I first came across Grizedale in a television documentary and finally went there on my honeymoon, staying in the forest in a borrowed VW camper van. On that first visit we saw work by Andy Goldsworthy, David Nash and Sally Matthews  among others and the effect of seeing work in this enormous outdoor gallery, a huge Cumbrian valley of trees, fields and distant skylines, was a revelation. Over the years we returned with our children to camp and walk in Grizedale. We brought our friends to see the forest and we return there still twenty years later.

Wild Boar Clearing, Sally Matthews

Inevitably I began to experiment in making sculpture outdoors myself. On beaches, in forests, by the river at home in Masham I built dry stone creations, sculpted mud and clay, arranged leaves, sticks and stones and, sometimes, photographed the result.

The artist whose ideas most inspired me was the remarkable Andy Goldsworthy whose work can be seen all over the world both in galleries and in the wild. His 2007 exhibition for Yorkshire Sculpture Park was simply wonderful. The underground galleries became caves of stone. musty scented constructions of logs, rooms hung with curtains of stalks and, in the grounds he suspended tree trunks between dry stone walls.

Hanging Trees, Andy Goldsworthy

Seven Spires, Andy Goldsworthy

Goldsworthy continues to work all over the world, expanding and developing the various themes which have inspired him throughout his life and producing books, photographs events and exhibitions.  

The next time you have a few moments somewhere beautiful gather some leaves together and arrange them on a rock, select some wood or build a drystone cairn. It is amazing how quickly you will find yourself drawn in to this simple, primal and beautiful world of natural sculpture. Leave what you have made behind and you will probably find, as I often have, that the next time you return to the place, someone else’s hand will have added to your work or created something fresh in its place. It is art for everyone which nearly always finds  a willing response.

Floating Leaf, Ian Scott Massie  
Brick on Granite, Ian Scott Massie

Andy Goldsworthy,

Andy Goldsworthy has produced an excellent series of books which each look at a different aspect of his work.: Wood, Wall, Passage, Stone and so on. Wood
is a wide ranging journey through his imaginative use of trees, leaves and twigs in association with water, flowers, snow and – an essential element in all Goldsworthy’s work – time.
Of all his books I think this is the perfect introduction to Goldsworthy’s ideas, possible because it was through seeing the log structures of Seven Spires and Sidewinder in Grizedale that I first came to appreciate his view of the world.
The book helps the reader to understand the creative process which is born out of the interaction of artistic vision and material possibility which directs the sculptor’s hands. Through the terrific illustrations and simple descriptions of the work one begins to grasp the enormous range of opportunities offered by the raw components of the natural world.
A great book.
To order Wood by Andy Goldsworthy, ISBN. 0670871370, CLICK HERE.
Website review
Landartnet.org is a wonderful composite website which aims to bring together landscape architects, engineers, architects, artists, educationalists and ecologists. The common theme is the encourage ment of collaboration and cross-fertilisation and creativity.
You can find, within the sections of the site, the work of a range of land artists and landscape designers, articles, events, book reviews and a great deal more.
The aims of landartnet.org are very ambitious but its approach is simple and unassuming. Membership is encouraged and rates for artists and designers wishing to showcase their work are very modest.
This is a project with its heart in the right place and provides an excellent, uncommercial portal to the wonders of land art. 

Illustration: High Green Spiral, Linda Gordon

Latest Paintings

Three new paintings are on the website, including this picture from a childhood memory entitled Last Train for Walham Green. CLICK HERE to view them
with Ian Scott Massie

Introduction to
Landscape in Oils

Thursday, 31st May
Price: £65.00
CLICK HERE to book        

Oil paint has been the medium of choice for some of the greatest landscape painters - capable of rich colour and allowing the artist tremendous freedom. This course focuses on simple techniques through which oils can bring the shapes and atmosphere of a landscape to life. 

Light And Shadow in Watercolour
Friday, 22nd June 10:00 to 4:00
Price: £65.00       
To book CLICK HERE  
A day of discovering the essential character which light and shadow brings to a landscape painting. Find out what an impact light effects can make.
Sculpture - In The Steps of Andy Goldsworthy
Sunday, 1st July 2012
 Price: £65.00

If you love the work of Andy Goldsworthy, why not try making sculpture in the landscape using found and natural objects? Explore the power and subtlety of natural elements and how they work together. Drawing strongly on contemporary themes in landscape art this is a fun and exciting course. 

Further details...

To see more paintings and prints on my website

To visit The Gallery, Masham where a wide selection of my work is always on sale
& Galleries

9th/10th June &
16th/17th June

A chance to see some wonderful work by artists across North Yorkshire. I’ll be showing paintings and prints and demonstrating painting at the Artison studios, just outside Masham in Wensleydale along with Josie BeszantRosie Scott Massie and Charlotte Morrison. Click on any of these to see their work on the NYOS website. Do come and see us if you can.
This year Open Studios are holding an exhibition of artist’s work
SECRET SPACES, HIDDEN GEMS: Taster and Selling Exhibition
as part of NYOS 12

Royal Hall, Kings Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire. HG1 5LA
May 31 Thursday-June 17 Sunday (inclusive)-Exhibition open to the public each afternoon; 12.00pm-3.00pm weekdays, 12.00-5.00pm weekends and Bank Holidays

Close to Home 
The Gallery, Masham
From 19/05/12 to  30/06/12
Exhibition Preview: Friday, May 18th. 7 – 9 pm
To celebrate 20 years of the charity Herriot Hospice home care The Gallery will be putting on an exhibition to highlight the charity and support them. Herriot Hospice Homecare provide care and support to terminally ill patients in their own homes in the Hambleton and Richmondshire areas of North Yorkshire. Artists have been invited to exhibit work inspired by the title, the charity and their work. 
Featuring the work of Elizabeth Price, Gilly Rochester, Vic Sayers, Wendy Tate, Janis Goodman, Colin Smithson, Helen Peyton, Angie Rogers, Josie Beszant and Rosie Scott Massie. A percentage of the profits will be donated to the charity.

To visit The Gallery, CLICK HERE
To see last month's newsletter about Tom McGuinness and the Pitmen Painters CLICK HERE
Copyright © 2012 Ian Scott Massie, All rights reserved.
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