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Arch Hardcover – May 1, 1999
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Tour the English countryside with artist Andy Goldsworthy and writer David Craig, as they trace an ancient drover's route from the sheep pastures of Thornhill, Scotland, to the old market town of Kirkby Lonsdale, England. Goldsworthy, whose natural sculptures are often made up of collections of carefully arranged rocks, has created a self-supporting arch that is assembled with about 30 stones and no mortar. As he and Craig travel the British countryside, they set up and photograph the red sandstone arch in a wide variety of locations. Some sites have changed little over the centuries--on a number of occasions they erect the sculpture in original sheep folds (corrals). In other cases, the arch marks the changing landscape, as in Shap, Cumbria, where it was assembled on a sidewalk across from a relatively new school building.
Documenting this exploration, Arch includes 35 beautiful photographs as well as a poetic day journal written by Craig describing the journey. Looking at the different sites where the arch stood and reading Craig's insight into the geography and history of the land provides a unique opportunity for readers to experience Goldsworthy's work and England's natural history in one sitting. --Loren E. Baldwin
About the Author
David Craig taught creative writing at the University of Lancaster.
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The very first photograph, in Dumfriesshire, shows the arch almost glowing with ruddy color as a threateningly black sky looms overhead. From there, we variously see the arch at the edge of a hauling company's parking lot; in a livestock feedlot; in the middle of a road; with one foot in a narrow stream and the other in a grassy field; and even, wittily, beneath another stone arch which forms the doorway into a barn.
In each setting, the arch almost speaks to us. It looks by turns completely at home and relaxed all the way up to shy and out of place. Goldsworthy's great achievement here is to imbue a simple and completely inanimate object with different moods and faces depending upon the setting. The arch becomes almost a Rohrschach test for the reader. Most interesting!