Arch at Goodwood

440 x 1030 x 180 cm
Edition of 1

Andy Goldsworthy’s sandstone arch is one of his largest sculptures of this type. His first arches were fashioned in ice and compacted snow in the Arctic during a residency with the Inuit Indians in 1989. Others followed in stone, more in ice and some in chalk. Arch at Goodwood was made to stride the Cass Sculpture Foundation’s flint wall, built by prisoners held in Portsmouth during the Napoleonic Wars. These men were put to work by the then Duke of Richmond who considered physical occupation in the open air to be healthier than languishing in crowded prison cells. The contrast between the quarried pink sandstone of the arch and knapped grey flint of the wall contributed to the strong presence of the sculpture. In Arch at Goodwood, Goldsworthy provided a link between the interior and exterior spaces of Cass Sculpture Foundation. Arches traditionally mark the passage between one place and another—from the outside world into a walled city, from town to church interior, from danger to safety. A row of arched swords would mark the moment when a bride with her military groom would progress into their new life together. There is endless symbolism in the form, rising to its keystone, without which, it would fall.


About The Artist

Andy Goldsworthy's experience growing up in agriculture as a farm labourer provided him with an acute awareness of his environment and a respect for the fleeting beauty of landscape. By intervening in the landscape Goldsworthy creates ephemeral site-specific sculptures using pre-existing, natural materials. He directly engages with the natural environment by incorporating found objects and natural specimens into temporary sculptures, which he then documents extensively through photography. This choice of materials ensures the momentariness of his work, meaning photography plays a large role in maintaining the legacy of his practice. Andy Goldsworthy photographs these sculptures before, during and after production, which serve as permanent record of each piece. Most of his work is created outside in remote locations that have been specifically chosen for their personal significance.

Andy Goldsworthy

Born: 1956

Other Artworks by Andy Goldsworthy at CASS


Herd of Arches

Out of the quarry - seven arches - made over two days - no failures - one almost fell - slipped down the face of a rock …

Related content

  • Sculpture
    Herd of Arches
    Out of the quarry - seven arches - made over two days - no failures - one almost fell - slipped down…
  • Sculpture
    A Clearing of Arches. For the Night
    In 1994, when Andy Goldsworthy was working on the installation of Herd of Arches at Cass Sculpture F…