Andy Goldsworthy Inspired Natural Sculptures

Year Levels: All Levels

with Emma Hewett-Smiles

Artwork (3) by Students at Walkerville Primary School, WA (800x500)

Click Here to download Lesson Plan


In this activity, students will use natural materials to create their own 3D sculptures using the work of Andy Goldsworthy as inspiration. They will collect outside materials from nature such as wood, stones and sand to design and make their sculptures outside. They will observe art elements of line, shape, space, pattern, form in nature and use these in their own creations. Finally, they will use joining skills of tying and gluing to hold their sculptures together.



Look at examples of Andy Goldworthy’s work. Look at the way he uses colour to compliment the natural environment and blend in. For example, his ice sculptures in the snow and leaf sculptures in the woodlands.
Consider watching the short video “Andy Goldsworthy – Land Art” on YouTube. Use these for your own inspiration.
Discuss ways of joining and holding things together. For example; using reeds or grass to tie sticks together, sap from a eucalyptus tree for glue and leaning heavy materials such as wood or stones to keep lighter materials like leaves in place.

Andy Goldsworth Artwork Examples2


Art Elements & Principles

Line, Shape, Space, Pattern, Form


Cross-Curriculum / Capabilities Links



Learning Objectives

Students will:



  • Explore the work of British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy and the way he uses natural found materials to create temporary sculptural installations out of sticks and stones and anything else he finds, which complement the surrounding natural environment.
  • Make a temporary sculpture like Andy’s using found materials from the garden; sticks, stones, dirt, leaves etc.
  • Consider art elements such as line, shape, space, pattern, form and colour when designing temporary sculptures.
  • Discuss how Andy holds his materials together using tree sap, water and reeds.




Create Artwork


Step 1: Begin by collecting a range of resources from around the garden or nearby park. (This is always a great opportunity to go outside for a bit and get some fresh air!)
Only collect items that are already on the ground. Avoid pulling flowers and leaves off plants.

Step 2: Collect items in a bag or basket and return. Spread your found objects out on the ground or the table. Discuss similarities between leaves and sticks etc. and which pieces would look good together.

Step 3: Find a spot outside for your sculpture. (eg. garden, yard, footpath or carport – make sure it is a safe place, with no cars etc.) and have fun building your own temporary sculpture!


Discussion / Reflection



  • What shapes, patterns, lines can you see in your sculpture?
  • What did you enjoy, find easy or challenging?
  • Compare and discuss your sculpture and the way it looks to Andy’s sculptures.



Materials & Equipment

  • Natural / Found Objects
  • String/Twine (optional)
  • Glue (optional)



Related Artwork, Links & Sources

Click Here to download Lesson Plan
Look at examples of Andy Goldworthy’s work. Below are some links to help you get started:
Wikimedia Commons: Works by Andy Goldsworthy
Crichton University: Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalogue
Click Here to watch the short video “Andy Goldsworthy – Land Art” on YouTube


Share Your Outcomes!

How did you go!? We’d love you to share your artwork with us on Facebook or Instagram!


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