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.