Striding Arches

I’t’s refreshing to discover a community arts project that has satisfied it’s aims. Last year at this time I was in south-west Scotland where I visited Cairnhead Community Forest. There, a number of artist installations are the focus of an effort to bring the public into the landscape by the Forestry commission Scotland.

“Striding Arches” by Andy Goldsworthy is the signature piece of the effort. Each arch, weighing approximately 27 tons, is 12′ high, with a span of 22′. They are dry-laid constructions made up of 31, hand-dressed, red sandstone blocks. The arches are set in prominent hilltop locations. A hike to visit one arch offers views of two others. The arch pictured here was unique in that it was incorporated into a disused stone barn. Surrounding stone walls were revitalized as part of the installation.

A collections of trusts, commissions, councils, arts associations and individuals came together to make the project happen. Cairnhead Community Forest is a fine example of of what can be achieved by blending art into landscape, and vice versa.

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2 Responses to Striding Arches

  1. Dan March 31, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Hi Chuck,
    Yes, it’s both humbling and inspiring to see what people manage to accomplish, together. Maybe because they live on an island, the Brits are very good at this. Another fine example of team effort in the installation of landscape art is the “Panopticon” project in East Lancashire.

  2. chuck Eblacker March 31, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    Thanks for posting these great pics Dan. Wouldn’t it be great to have a place like that to do some fun dry stone installs? Your front yard maybe? The arches are big and wonderful, when I was buggin you about the moongate you should have just told me to take a look at those and keep quite. Sometimes when I look at the scale of what others accomplish , it quickly puts into perspective that my goals could be attainable.

    Reading along with your blog gets me thinking I should update mine…or not.

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