Andy Goldsworthy's Watershed to open to the public at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum on November 9, 2019


Boston & Lincoln, MA – October 16, 2019 – DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum announces Watershed, a site-specific, permanent commission by Andy Goldsworthy opening to the public on November 9, 2019. DeCordova is the only public institution in New England with an outdoor work by the internationally renowned British artist.

Throughout his career, Goldsworthy has explored the power of water and how its force, energy, and impact respond to the rhythm of weather and have strong and powerful consequences for the landscape. Partially-embedded in the slope of deCordova’s pond-side hill, Watershed is a site-specific work designed to interact with deCordova’s unique environment and feature the natural flow of water. Using local materials and the expert assistance of Goldsworthy's team of British wallers, the nine-byfifteen-foot granite stone structure is built in a vernacular style, echoing stone walls and structures found throughout New England. On the structure’s interior rear wall, stonework radiates in concentric circles from a drain outlet centered in the wall—a powerful evocation of water’s energy and pattern. "When a project like Watershed is finished, that’s the beginning of its life. The life that my sculptures have are so dependent on people—not as an audience, but as part of the work. Without people being in there to activate the space, it will not work," says Goldsworthy. "I’d love that in the future when bad weather is forecast, rather than saying ‘I’m not going to deCordova today,’ people say ‘let’s go to deCordova today.'"

In times of heavy rain, water that flows across deCordova’s paved upper lot is collected and channeled underground to pour from the outlet in the work's rear wall, giving form to the usually unremarked course of groundwater across hard surfaces and allowing people to see and hear the work come to life. In dry weather the wall stands expectantly, waiting to be activated. The work serves to illustrate both the impermanence and the lasting effects of water, through the growth of residues like mineral deposits, moss, and patina.

“We are thrilled to start welcoming visitors to Watershed—a unique and unforgettable intersection of art and nature that can be experienced throughout all seasons and in all types of weather,” says John B. Ravenal, Trustees’ Vice President for Arts & Culture and Artistic Director, deCordova. “It was an honor to work with Andy Goldsworthy on this significant, permanent addition to deCordova’s Sculpture Park, and we look forward to watching it evolve in the years to come.”

As a permanent commission by an internationally acclaimed artist, Watershed underscores deCordova's role as a leading U.S. sculpture park, deepening the discourse on contemporary sculpture in our community and beyond for generations to come.

Major funding for this project is provided by the Nancy Foss Heath & Richard B. Heath Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts, as well as numerous generous private supporters.

About Andy Goldsworthy

In photographs, sculptures, installations, and films spanning a career of four decades, Andy Goldsworthy documents his explorations of the effects of time, the relationship between humans and their natural surroundings, and the beauty in loss and regeneration.

Permanent, site-specific installations by Goldsworthy can be seen at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the de Young Museum, San Francisco; Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York; Stanford University, Palo Alto, California; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; and the Presidio of San Francisco, among numerous other sites. Major solo exhibitions of Goldsworthy's work have been presented by Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, U.K.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California. In 2022 the Yale Center for British Arts will open a traveling retrospective of Goldsworthy’s work. The artist was born in Cheshire, England in 1956, and is based in southwest Scotland. Goldsworthy is represented by Galerie Lelong & Co.

Image Caption: Andy Goldsworthy, Watershed (detail), 2019, granite, Corten steel, spruce pine wood, 156 x 223 x 144 inches, Installation at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA. © Andy Goldsworthy, Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co.

Contact: Emily Kowalski | Trustees and deCordova Marketing & Communications Consultant |