This is a blog of ongoing projects starting with: 1) Antarctica -Dec. 2006 - February 2007 2) Work made from the experience 2008 3) Nevada Feb. - Oct. 2008

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


It is now a month since I returned from Wyoming and posted a blog.
At the beginning of August my show Land, Water and Language was installed at Dovecot in Edinburgh. It is a really beautiful space and this is how the work looked:

From 3 days at the Edinburgh Festival we drove down to Thixendale in the Yorkshire Wolds where I was due to start construction of a work in this stunning chalk valley. The commission was for The Yorkshire Wolds Way and I first saw this valley in November last year. My reaction to the valley was that this was the sculpture and anything added would have to be very subtle.The site was at the confluence of two glacial valleys and I noticed that a curve had been carved out of the far bank where the meeting of two glaciers would have formed a vortex before flowing on down.
My plan was therefore to draw these lines of ancient flow in gentle grassed mounds. In the smaller of the two valleys was a small disused dew pond which I wanted to restore and incorporate. Here are the first drawings and plans:

Work was delayed until late summer as we needed planning permission and a magnetic resonance survey for archeological disturbances. I spent 3 days stringing out the site into a grid of 10 m. squares. Then made the drawing in lime and water lines.

The work was being carried out for me by Clive and Leslie from Country Plan and they had already completed the dew pond, using the traditional means of a thick layer of clay, covered in a layer of straw then stones to prevent cattle from puncturing the clay liner.
On the Monday Mike Dee arrived - the best digger driver in Yorkshire. He came with machine and his dog Alfie, who proceeded to bark at all passers by and generally get in the way - much to the amusement of us all. Also present were Louise and Dominic, the local archeologists, employed to check out anything we dug up. In the end this amounted to a few fragments of medieval pottery and a sheep's bone!

So we started in the middle and worked outwards, Mike digging and me raking by hand. Mike was an artist with the digger and made the most beautiful job. His bucket was 40 cm. deep which was as deep as the trench. What came out went on the mound. He started by removing the turf on the ditch, then scooped out the rest. It took about 4 days in all.

The work has now been seeded with a natural grass mix and fenced. It will be green in a month and in 6 months we can take down the fence and let the cattle in.

1 comment:

Gardener in the Distance said...

This work - which reminds me of rhythmic writing - could be a formation made by the energies of natural forces, and will, in time, probably seem to be so. Beautiful, it doesn't intrude or appropriate.