Andy Goldsworthy: Alderney Stones
Project for Alderney, April 2011
As part of the Art & Islands initiative, and with support from the Guernsey Arts Commission, Andy Goldsworthy is working on a major work for Alderney which will open in April 2011. The current exhibition in the greenhouse is showing, for the first time, Goldsworthy’s working drawings for this project.
Building on the Art, Islands & Islomania Conference (Castle Cornet 23rd – 25th June) the intention for this year was to extend the Art & Islands’ Programme into the whole of the Bailiwick. To achieve this aim the idea is to link one artist of international standing to one of the four islands. Andy Goldsworthy on a pre-visit to the Bailiwick selected Alderney.
This project is grounded in education (being based at the Guernsey College of Further Education), and is supported by HSBC Private Bank, the Guernsey Arts Commission and Hiscox. The eleven Alderney Stones will be installed before Easter 2011.
In the artist’s words: Project: Alderney Stones
“I would like to develop a project on Alderney, which would involve the construction and siting of a series of rammed earth stones/boulders. Each stone/boulder would be made with earth containing materials and objects. These would be incorporated into each stone as it is being constructed. These might be rocks, branches, bones, tools, seeds, clothes, beach debris, etc… These materials would be revealed as the stones wear away. The boulders would then be sited at various locations around the island and left. It would be a project that reveals itself over time through the process of erosion, which I hope would be relevant to a small island. The choice of contents would come out of a dialogue with the place. Each stone/boulder would contain a different material and possibly relate to the site where the stone will be placed. Locations will vary – beach, field, quarry, town, bunker, etc…
The stones would need to be made indoors and left to dry for a year before being placed on site. A dry stone will erode more slowly – be more interesting and last longer – depending upon location and weather. Some will last months if not years. Others – if placed in the surf for instance – will last only a day or so. As the stones erode, their contents will be revealed. Even when completely eroded there will be some evidence left by some stones. A stone/boulder containing seeds could possibly become bigger rather than smaller as the seeds germinate and grow.
I hope the project will touch upon the social, geological, historical, climatic and agricultural nature of Alderney. I have chosen Alderney because it seems to have a strong sense of layered past and a wide variety of locations in a small area.
Number and stone size will be determined by the practical demands of getting each stone to its site. The stone for the bunker could be made inside the bunker itself. It would in any case, probably be bigger than the entrance. The earth should have soil/clay content.
As I have already said, the size and number of the stones can adapt to circumstances. My initial feeling that the stones would be about 4-5ft diameter of which there would be between seven and fifteen.” Andy Goldsworthy in an email.
N.B. Since this email 10 Stones have already been made and are curing in Alderney.
Andy Goldsworthy’s Exhibition of Drawings is currently showing in the greenhouse until 5 July. Admission is free and the greenhouse is open Monday – Saturday 9am until 5pm and Sunday 9am until 1pm.
the greenhouse is based in the Guernsey Information Centre which is just opposite the Crown Pier Car Park in St Peter Port.