Using rocks, sticks, ice, mud, and river water, Scottish artist Andy Goldsworthy creates some of the most majestic and magnificent artworks of our time — yet they are ephemeral, swept away by wind or tides or natures entropy, often within minutes. Filmmaker Riedelsheimer trails Goldsworthy as he creates some of his beautiful sculptures, talking with him about his process and philosophy, while affording us rare insight into the mind of a brilliant craftsman.
"Rivers and Tides" is an observational documentary as pure in its artistic intentions as its remarkable subject. Riedelsheimer simply witnesses a man at work, doing what he does best: creating art from nature's ready-made materials. Some of Goldsworthy's projects are so elaborate and so house-of-cards fragile, like a magic cone of twigs, that he loses the sculpture to a light gust of wind before he's even finished. But hearing Goldsworthy's soft-spoken and reflective thoughts on his meticulous endeavors makes the organic defeat seem very sweet indeed.