Andy Goldsworthy: Walking Wall

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Related Organization: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Andy Goldsworthy, who collaborates with nature and time to create site-specific installations, will build Walking Wall in five successive sections at the Nelson-Atkins in 2019. Over the course of nine months, Goldsworthy and his craftsmen will hand-build a wall that will “move” across the museum campus.
The dry-stacked wall will be about 100 yards, and the first section will built from March 3 to 23. Visitors are encouraged to view the crew’s working progress from inside the Bloch Building.
In May, stones from the first section will be moved to create a second section, which will cross Rockhill Road. The wall will inch its way across the museum campus, and by November, it will be a permanent installation at the museum.
Goldsworthy is a British sculptor, photographer, and environmentalist who lives in Scotland, with projects around the world. Many of his projects have been transient or ephemeral in nature, although he captures the moment with photographs. Other projects are meant to be in place for many years, although Goldsworthy has a continual interest in changes to the works due to nature’s effects or the passing of time.
Goldsworthy’s artistic concept for the Nelson-Atkins project is expressed by a poem called Wall by the late Norman Nicholson, which reads, in part:

A wall walks slowly,
At each give of the ground,
Each creak of the rock’s ribs,
It puts its foot gingerly,
Arches its hog-holes,
Lets cobble and knee-joint
Settle and grip.
As the slipping fellside
Erodes and drifts,
The wall shifts with it,
Is always on the move.

They built a wall slowly,
A day a week;
Built it to stand.
But not stand still.
They built a wall to walk.