A day with the Alderney Stones

On Thursday 21st April 2011 the Arts and Islands Foundation held an event in Alderney with internationally renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy to launch his Alderney Stones project.

The Guernsey Arts Commission is an associate partner of the foundation and as such the Arts Development Team was invited to attend the launch and Communications Officer Tom Girard shared his thoughts on the day…

“For a first trip to Alderney this maybe wasn’t the most regular way of seeing the island, but a great way to see the whole island in the space of 6 hours!

Getting out of the mini bus at the top of Fort Albert to be greeted by a fantastic view of the island’s harbour and famous breakwater was a great start to the day and in the middle of this view was the intriguing structure of the first of Andy Goldsworthy’s Alderney Stones.  A 3 tonne, 1.5m high spherical structure made of local soil.

Following an introducing to the project from Arts and Island Foundation’s founding director Eric Snell the 70 strong group made up of a mix of Alderney people, visiting arts enthusiasts and representatives of the foundations’ sponsors made our way down the hill to Saye Beach where Goldsworthy was finalising the installation of the final stone and gave us his introduction to the project.

Following this we set off in earnest for the hike which took in all the stones and included a circumnavigation of the island on foot seeing everything from the sandy beaches and commons to the cliffs and forts and ending on the island’s famous breakwater.

As someone for whom this particular form of art is a new thing I was not sure what I would make of the project, but, much like the Gormley in Herm, on seeing it ‘in the flesh’ I was amazed at how interesting and impressive the Stones are, while at the same time fitting into the island’s natural landscape.

What seems to me will be most interesting will be following the progress of the Stones as they erode and having seen them in their original state will put this weathering into context as they reveal their hidden secrets.

While this process can be followed on the Alderney Stones official website, seeing it in situ really brings the project to life in a way that still images cannot do justice.”

The Alderney Stones can be seen around Alderney from now until they naturally erode and more information can be found on island at the Alderney Museum.

Check out some more photos of the day on the Guernsey Arts Commission Facebook page.

Have you been over to Alderney to see the Stones? Let us know what you thought of them by posting a comment below.

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