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Andy Goldsworthy's stone sculptures in the Bailiwick

Constructing the Alderney Stones

Over Easter 2010 Fort Albert in Alderney was a busy place as artist Andy Goldsworthy continued his work on the Alderney Stones.

The "boulder-like forms" have been created from island ground and embedded with various items, which have a local connection.

The stones will erode over a period of time revealing the embedded objects.

Andy said: "I hope it will give them an extraordinary life after they've been put out around the island."

Alderney Stones
The stones weigh up to four tonnes and are made of local ground

As of Easter 2010 six of the expected 12 stones had been created and were being left to dry out ready to be placed in various locations around the island in spring 2011.

Though all of the stones contain things, Andy said at first: "There's no sense of there being anything in them."

The stones contain things including poppy seeds, wheat, sea-worn bricks, worn gloves from Alderney, the metal from re-enforced concrete and a length of chain from the harbour.

The process of creating the stones was slowed down by the bad weather in the first part of 2010 and Andy said working out how to create the stones was "tough".

He said: "The first stone fell apart - it's just trying to understand, as the soil doesn't have a large clay content so it's difficult to get it to bind and we've figured out now exactly how to do it."

Alderney Stones
The stones are held in wooden supports until they dry and harden

Despite this the stones still need time to dry out and harden properly and Andy explained they would be kept inside for a year while this happened but "once they dry they're incredibly strong".

The stones weigh up to four tonnes and were made with the help of Mark Jacobs and Sam Claydon, who have worked with Andy in the past, and a team of Alderney volunteers.

The Alderney Stones form part of the Art and Islands initiative being run by the College of Further Education's International Artist in Residence Programme and the Guernsey Arts Commission and Andy had the choice of completing an artistic project on any of the islands.

One of the stones will contain a tonne and a half of chain from the harbour

He chose Alderney for the project because: "It's a difficult challenging landscape to work with and I have to rise to that and make works I hope are appropriate to it."

As well as the Alderney Stones, Andy is creating a similar installation for the Arts and Islands conference that takes place in June 2010 to go on Pembroke Beach that will erode over the course of the week-long event.

Andy said: "One of the great things about the Arts and Islands project is it's really injecting an element of creativity into this group of communities, which I think could bear fruits in all sorts of ways."

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