About the Installation
Watershed is a site-specific work designed to interact with deCordova’s unique natural environment. Throughout his career, Goldsworthy has explored the power of water. Its force, energy, and impact respond to the rhythm of weather, and have strong and powerful consequences for the landscape. Watershed is composed of a nine-by-fifteen-foot granite stone structure, partially-embedded in the slope of deCordova’s pond-side hill. The work is built in a vernacular style, echoing stone walls and structures found throughout New England, using local materials and the expert assistance of Goldsworthy's team of British wallers. 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.
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.
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.
In 2009, deCordova invited Goldsworthy to propose a permanent outdoor installation at deCordova. The artist’s original proposal, Snow House, evolved with time and discussion into the current Watershed proposal, which like Snow House connects to weather, seasons, and time.
Image: Andy Goldsworthy, Watershed, 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. Photo by Clements Photography and Design, Boston.