At first glance, you might think these photographs are the result of digital editing or some other technological wizardry, but in fact, these amazing scenes were built entirely using natural materials found lying around wilderness sites. The surreal tableaus were constructed by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy, who has been creating sculptures from found organic materials for decades. To create his installations, he has worked with bones, leaves, twigs, icicles, and even rain.
A central aspect of Goldsworthy’s work is that it is temporary. Like everything in nature, his work is susceptible to decay and destruction. As Goldsworthy told the Guardian, the decay of his constructions imbues the works with further meaning: “Nothing lasts. We all have to deal with loss. When I make something, in a field or street, it may vanish but it’s part of the history of those places. In the early days my work was about collapse and decay. Now some of the changes that occur are too beautiful to be described as simply decay.” By using only natural materials, Goldsworthy surrenders to natural processes of change.
Another surprising element of Goldsworthy’s work is how sophisticated it looks, considering the materials. A circle of twigs surrounding a rock looks strangely futuristic, and bright yellow leaves at the base of a tree shine like neon. His style of rustic folk art becomes incredibly vivid and modern. It’s a testament to the amazing things people can create with just two hands and what we find on the forest floor.