About the Project

The Andy Goldsworthy Digital Catalogue is the result of a collaborative effort involving Andy Goldsworthy, The Crichton Foundation, and University of Glasgow's Crichton Campus and Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII). The Digital Catalogue constitutes a unique resource: comprising approximately 3,500 images, it documents the 2,700 or so sculptures that Goldsworthy made in the ten-year period 1976-1986, and gives unprecedented access to Goldsworthy's early working practices and contexts.

Project Background

Professor Rex Taylor, Director of the University of Glasgow's Crichton Campus 1999-2005, and Tom Pow initially discussed the possibility of developing a collaborative project during a visit that they made to Andy Goldsworthy's studio in Penpont, Dumfriesshire in 2001.

On that occasion, they sowed the germ of an idea: the possibility of digitising and cataloguing Goldsworthy's Slide Cabinet Index, and of locating the resulting Digital Catalogue at the University of Glasgow's Crichton Campus. Goldsworthy was particularly keen to support his 'home' campus, and it was intended that the resulting resource would be made available to international scholars and researchers through the Crichton.

Professor Taylor enlisted vital support from Barbara Kelly, Convenor of the Crichton Foundation, and from Professor Seamus Ross, Director of the University of Glasgow's HATII (Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute), whose department has provided technical expertise and support throughout the project's duration.

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Project Funding

The project underwent three phases of development, each of which was supported with funding from private individuals and organisations local to Dumfries, all with the aim of supporting the establishment of the Crichton Campus locally, nationally and internationally as a Higher Education and Research destination. Without their support, the Digital Catalogue project would not have come to fruition.

Phase one - 2002-2003: Software Development
With funds generously given by anonymous donors, Brian Aitken is hired to develop the Digital Catalogue software.

Phase two - 2003-2004: Digitising and Cataloguing
With funds from the Crichton Foundation, Dr. Tina Fiske is appointed Crichton Foundation Andy Goldsworthy Research Fellow, and project manager 2003-2004, with support from Grainne Rice, and Helen Nisbet.

Phase three - 2006: DVD-Rom Development
With funds generously given by anonymous donors, Dr. Tina Fiske and Brian Aitken undertake the final completion phase, with assistance from Rebecca Bell and Natalie Reid.

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Project Brief

The project brief focused on Goldsworthy's Slide Cabinet Index, and the considerable collection of slides and transparencies that document his ephemeral practice. Its aims were as follows:

  • Digitise the contents of the Slide Cabinet Index for the years 1976-1986 as a preservative measure
  • Digitise additional images from the wider collection of slides and transparencies relating to the Slide Cabinet, to further elucidate the making and context of those works
  • Catalogue the date & location information noted in the Slide Cabinet, and to augment this with reference to Goldsworthy's publications, and new material from his Sketchbook Diaries made available for the first time
  • Make the above available to scholars and researchers through the Crichton Campus, Dumfries.

It was decided to dedicate on the efforts of the project on the first ten years of Goldsworthy's practice, insofar that material was deemed most vulnerable, and because it includes a significant proportion of early work not known or accessible to the research community. 1976-1986 brackets the period in which Goldsworthy established the principles of his practice. It is characterised by experimentation and exploration, and is prior to Goldsworthy's gaining gallery representation in 1987.

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Project Team

Andy Goldsworthy Research Fellow and Project Manager: Dr. Tina Fiske
Software Developer and Digital Catalogue Designer: Brian Aitken, HATII University of Glasgow
Digitiser and Cataloguer: Grainne Rice
Project Assistants: Rebecca Bell, Helen Nisbet, and Natalie Reid
Technical support: Mike Black, HATII University of Glasgow