This is one of the better artist documentaries because Goldsworthy speaks understandably and extensively about his work. His explanations illustrate his process - and you can understand what he is saying. One of the longer sections is about a country wall of stone he created at the Storm King Art Center in New York. It is a wall that incorporates his signature imagery, the wandering movement of a river. He wraps the wall around trees, as well as having it enter and exit a lake. It loses its standard straight line and enters a conversation with the trees and landscape in which it sits. Though a wall is meant to last, in his mind it remains ephemeral because it explicitly acknowledges that tree growth will eventually destroy it - much like the previous wall that had been present on the property.
The most impressive river flow imagery piece is from Nova Scotia where he attaches pieces of icicle to a rock by the ocean - then the sun appears in a fortunate way to light it up completely to make it glow. We get to share his surprise at the beauty of it when it happens.
Time is another major player in his work. He often creates on the seashore, completing his works just as the tide comes in - which then destroys them. Working in ice also acknowledges plays into the ephemeral nature of his work. Whether gone in a moment in the flow of a river or lasting longer because it is made of stone, his work is designed to disappear, something that sets his work apart.
His signature works are human sized pinecone shaped sculptures using stone, ice, wood - and probably other objects given the frequency he has made them. They are impressive because they stand on their own with nothing attaching the pieces together - and they can be fragile. One of the compelling moments is when he builds one of these cones from rocks on the seashore but it falls four times before he is able to get it to stand - all while the tide is coming in. It is rare to see an artist fail on camera, but this film captures two such episodes and his reaction of disappointment, making him that more human.
The wow moments come from the fact that anyone could do what he does. He has taken childhood play with stones, sticks and other objects from the natural world and continued the journey into art - without losing the childhood playfulness, and while remaining fully conscious of the meaning he brings to his work.