Michael Andrews Ayers Rock October 83: Near Maggie Springs, 1983 Watercolour and sand from Ayers Rock, 20 x 27.9cm Private Collection

Michael Andrews 1928 – 95 Ayers Rock October ’83: Near ‘Maggie Springs’, 1983 Watercolour and sand from Ayers Rock, 20 x 27.9cm Private Collection Aye...
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Michael Andrews 1928 – 95 Ayers Rock October ’83: Near ‘Maggie Springs’, 1983 Watercolour and sand from Ayers Rock, 20 x 27.9cm Private Collection Ayers Rock, or Uluru, in central Australia is one of the most celebrated geological features on earth. It was created over 400 million years ago when an extensive sandstone bed tilted through 90 degrees as a result of massive geological forces. The original sedimentary processes are still visible on the near vertical ridges that are such a distinctive feature of this huge monolith. In the late 1960s the British painter Michael Andrews saw a photograph of Ayers Rock in an advertisement for Australia in a magazine. The image stayed with him until 1983, when he was finally able to make his long-awaited pilgrimage to the rock. He spent a total of nine days in Uluru National Park, exploring the site, taking photographs and producing a number of watercolour studies including this one. The study is topographical yet clearly communicates Andrews’ immediate response to the rock, the place itself literally being embodied in the watercolour through the addition of local sand to the painted surface. The photographs and watercolour studies were used as source material for an ambitious series of nine paintings in acrylic. The huge canvasses were painted in the artist’s chapel studio in the village of Tasburgh, Norfolk. The artist named the series Rock of Ages after the eighteenth century hymn by Augustus Toplady: Rock of ages, cleft for me Let me hide myself in Thee. For the aboriginal people, Uluru is a sacred place. Its surface features reveal mythological stories, which in turn reinforce the aboriginal peoples’ sense of belonging to the landscape. Activities •







Geography and Science How was Ayers Rock formed? Find out about the geological processes that have created this distinctive feature in Australia’s landscape. Citizenship Ayers Rock is now known by its aboriginal name Uluru. Discuss some of the arguments for and against using aboriginal terms to describe or name the landscape. Art and Design Make a collage of your own local landscape using material from that landscape such as sand, earth or leaves. Literacy Read some aboriginal ‘Dreamtime’ or creation myths. How do these stories compare with your own understandings of the creation of the world?

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Emily Young b. 1951 Serpentine Torso, 2005 Serpentine, height 130cm Courtesy of the Artist Serpentine is usually found within layers of slate, limestone or marble and is always evidence of a complex and dramatic history. It is composed of the igneous minerals olivine and pyroxene which, when subjected to rising temperatures and pressures of geological movement, force their way through older rocks and fill them with chaotic colourful veins. This soft elemental figure emerges from the rock like a landscape waking from sleep. The soft and silky yet dramatically fractured rock is from the Carrara Mountains in Italy. These mountains are famous for their pure white marble formed in the seas of the Jurassic period, and used by artists from Michelangelo in the sixteenth century to Marc Quinn in the twenty-first century. To find serpentine, so different from marble with all its colour and life, in the same mountain range, is testament to the complexity of geological histories. Emily Young said of her raw unworked block, “A dramatic geological history of turmoil in those mountains over the past many millions of years has left this wild, rich and complicated stone as its testament… It has the magic; it talked in a strong, warm voice to me about its beauty and rarity, and so I brought it home to my studio, where we washed it, and saw the swirls, changes and natural lines of drawing that allow one to read into it, to form the familiar lines of humanity, the woman’s body, the strong grace of a dancer, powerful, with a kind of sombre wildness that I find heart-breaking – it’s a quality lost to most of us. This is anthropomorphism, and it’s a way into the stone, and its history, through the material and its form, back into the story of the land, our creator, our ancestor, seen now, here, as something like us. And maybe us, as something like it, her.” Activities •





Art and Design Make detailed observational sketches of this sculpture from different angles. How has the artist responded to the natural form of the rock? Art and Design Use plasticine or clay to create a landscape-like form containing human or animal forms. Geography and Science Research different types of rock: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. How might these look in different sculptural forms? Why do you think Emily Young has chosen to use serpentine?

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Joseph Wright of Derby 1734 – 1797 Vesuvius in Eruption, with a view over the Islands in the Bay of Naples, c. 1776 – 80 Oil on canvas, 122 x 176.4cm Tate, London (T05846)

The awesome nature of Vesuvius was a lure to travellers in the eighteenth century. Joseph Wright of Derby made his excursion there from Rome in October – November 1774, a trip which inspired over thirty paintings of Vesuvius in eruption. Wright however never did see an actual eruption, the last prior to his visit being in 1767. The mountain underwent a major eruption in 1777, and Wright’s painting may have been influenced by contemporary reports as well as his own experience. Joseph Wright here focuses upon the event of eruption. Thanks to recent research we now know that he used ground sulphur, a material not normally associated with painting, for the final application of yellow lines of lava-flow at the apex of the cone. Wright would have enjoyed the literal equation between a volcanic element and its painted form since he counted amongst his friends both geologists and scientists. Interestingly, the ground priming of the canvas is composed of calcium sulphate, or gypsum, in oil, a common usage in Italy as opposed to using chalk which was found in artwork produced north of the Alps. This raises the strong possibility that the picture was painted in Italy. The view is painted from the foothills of Vesuvius, with the promontory of Sorrento to the left, the island of Capri to the right, and with some artistic license, the islands of Ischia and Procida are also visible. Wright specialized in light effects and here contrasts the mysterious lunar light with that of the dramatic sulphurous eruption. In the foreground the body of a victim of the earth shattering event is carried away, accompanied by a mourning woman.

Activities •





Art and Design Create a large sculptural form of a volcano. You may like to use wire or paper mâché as the cone, with textiles for the erupting lava. Geography and Science Imagine that you were an eyewitness of this volcanic eruption. Write a description of what you see. Research people’s experiences of volcanic eruptions today. What is done to protect people from volcanoes? Literacy Over the centuries, volcanoes have inspired poetry and other writings. Write an acrostic poem or a haiku about volcanoes.

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Richard Long b. 1945 Delabole Spiral, 1981 Northumberland Slate, 28 stones, 34.5 x 240.5 x 228.5cm Sheffield Museums & Galleries Trust Much of Richard Long’s artistic activity is based on his long solitary walks through landscapes and remote or inhospitable terrain. He often collects objects such as stones and twigs on these walks and then exhibits them in gallery spaces where he usually arranges them into circular or other fairly simple geometric shapes. He also creates such works in their original settings and documents his walks with photographs, text and maps. Long explains the inspiration for his work on his website: ‘Nature has always been recorded by artists, from pre-historic cave paintings to 20th century landscape photography. I too wanted to make nature the subject of my work, but in new ways. I started working outside using natural materials like grass and water, and this evolved into the idea of making a sculpture by walking. I consider my landscape sculptures inhabit the rich territory between two ideological positions, namely that of making monuments or conversely, of leaving footprints. As sculpture may be moved, dispersed and carried, stones can be used as markers of time or distance, or exist as parts of a huge, yet anonymous sculpture.’ In Delabole Spiral, 28 roughly quarried pieces of slate from the Delabole Quarry in Cornwall have been arranged in a spiral on the floor. The quarried stone retains its natural appearance and has received little or no modification, other than having been balanced on its flat, narrow edge. As Long himself explained: “It’s enough to use stones as stones, for what they are. I’m a realist.” Long’s use of this universal spiral symbol connects Delabole Spiral to a prehistoric past when people necessarily had a closer, more direct relationship to their natural environment, yet still revealed this human need to make their mark or inscribe their presence on the landscape.

Activities •





Art and Design Create your own piece of land art as a group using stones, leaves or logs. You may like to look at the work of other artists such as Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration. Geography, Science and Citizenship Cornwall is famous for its quarrying industries, such as the Delabole slate quarry. Find out about the impact of quarrying industries on Cornwall. You may like to look at examples of how former quarries are now used in the tourism industry, for example at The Eden Project. Literacy Spirals are found throughout nature and the manmade world. Write a spiral-shaped poem about some of the different spirals surrounding you.

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Thomas Banks 1735 - 1805 Falling Titan, 1786 Marble, 83.8 x 90.2cm Royal Academy of Arts, London This extraordinary sculpture has always been admired for its drama, surprising scale and impressive physicality since banks first presented it to the Royal Academy in London as his diploma piece following his election as an Academician in 1786. The Titans were gigantic beings who ruled the earth before the Olympian gods and were the children of Ouranos, the sky, and Gaia, the earth. They overthrew their tyrannical father, Ouranos, and put the Titan Cronos in his place. Cronos, in his turn, swallowed all his children, except Zeus who was raised in secrecy. The eventual battle between the older generation of gods, the Titans led by Cronos, and the younger generation, the Olympians, led by his son Zeus, lasted ten years and shook the universe like no other conflict. This sculpture represents a clear manifestation of that impulse which sculptors since Michelangelo have expressed: the intellectual and emotional challenge of finding the form within the stone, rather than the more prosaic execution of a sculpting task. Banks began his working life as a stone mason and his daughter later recalled of his piece, “I perfectly remember, on the occasion of that statue being worked, his saying in conversation that he conceived the subject to exist in the block of marble, a priori, and that it was called forth by the sculptor’s hand.” This idea that the form already resides within the stone, awaiting discovery, was first expressed by the art historian Giorgio Vasari in his description of Michelangelo at work. Activities •







Art and Design Try carefully carving in wood. What emerges from the wood? Is there something already inside it, waiting to be revealed? What do you think about Vasari’s idea that the form already exists within the stone? Literacy What is a myth? How have myths been used throughout time? How are myths used today? Read the Greek myth of the Titans. Why do you think Banks has chosen to express this in sculptural form? Literacy Write your own myth about the gods. How does this compare with the Aboriginal Dreamtime myths that you explored when looking at Andrews’ Ayers Rock? Geography and Science What type of rock is marble? How is marble formed? What are some of the features of marble?

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007



Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Sebastião Salgado b. 1944 Serra Pelada Goldmine, Brazil: General View of the Mine Showing Gold Diggers Ascending the Rock Face by Ladder, 1986 Gelatin silver print, 44.9 x 29.9cm Victoria and Albert Museum, London In 1980, the discovery of gold nuggets in the Eastern Amazon in Brazil, sparked the most spectacular gold rush in recent history. Among those who flocked to the goldmine that became known as Serra Pelada, or bald mountain, were professional people such as lawyers and doctors. Most prospectors, however, were Brazil’s agricultural poor who left their homes in the hope that gold would free their lives from destitution. At the beginning of the mine’s exploitation, a tonne of gold was excavated manually per month. By 1985, over 35 tonnes of gold had been extracted without the use of any machinery. At the peak of the gold rush, over 50,000 miners, monitored by military police, worked in the 200 metre deep pit, enduring abject living conditions in an atmosphere where humidity is never below 80%. Sebastião Salgado, an economist committed to Third World development, turned to photography in 1973. Perhaps as a legacy of his former profession, his photographs tend to document the plight of the world’s disenfranchised. He has said of his work, “You photograph with all your ideology.” His 1986 photographs of Serra Pelada are part of a project documenting manual labour that spanned several years and resulted in a book and exhibition called Workers in 1993. This photograph shows the gaping pit of the mine looking like a huge ant colony or the circles of Dante’s inferno. Swarms of miners in single file carry sacks of earth up the rockface on rickety ladders. The sheer size of the pit renders them insignificant, anonymous, like so many insects carrying out a mechanical and seemingly endless task. The scene could not be further removed from the elegant jewellers’ windows in which gold is eventually displayed. Salgado confronts us with the undesirable, shameful side of the remarkable transformation of gold from a simple ore in the earth, to the ultimate status symbol. Activities •







Art and Design Artists often depict insects such as ants or bees as an analogy for human activity. Look carefully at an ant’s nest. Make a series of 60 second sketches to convey movement of the insects. Geography and Science On a map of the world, colour those countries in which deposits of gold have been mined. Find out about the processes involved in mining gold. Citizenship Using the Internet, look up news stories about the gold rush to Serra Pelada in the 1980s and 1990s. What are some of the ethical issues involved in mining gold? Why is gold so valuable? Literacy What are the circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno? Draw a diagram to illustrate them. Find out about other works of literature that have been inspired by The Divine Comedy.

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

John Ruskin 1819 – 1900 In the Pass of Killiecrankie, 1857 Pencil, ink, watercolour and bodycolour, 28.2 x 24.8cm Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge Killiecrankie is renowned in Scotland and beyond both for its history and for its spectacular scenery. Situated three miles north of Pitlochry in Perthshire, it was the scene of the Battle of Killiecrankie, the first Jacobite uprising in 1689 when Bonnie Dundee defeated the forces of William of Orange. For a mile, the rushing River Garry flows through the steep wooded gorge, cutting through beds of Dalradian metasedimentary rocks formed under great heat and pressure 850 million years ago. It forms part of the natural corridor through the Grampians linking the Scottish Highlands and the Lowlands. As a fine example of ancient Scottish mixed woodland wit rare flora and fauna, it has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Ruskin had an abiding interest in geological subjects, and declared Scotland “one magnificent mineralogical specimen. In 1857, he sulkily consented to accompany his parents there on a holiday. They stopped near Killiecrankie at the end of August, and for a week he spent six hours a day meticulously working on this drawing. The intensely worked In the Pass of Killiecrankie is strong in colour, the mossy rocks virtually filling the page, with every lichen, moss, crevice and contour depicted with a pre-Raphaelite degree of furnish. Ruskin seems to have been especially proud of the work, exhibiting it twice in his lifetime. Activities •







Art and Design Take a walk through your local woodland. Draw or paint some of the natural rocks, mosses and lichens that you come across. Art and Design Look at the minerals surrounding you in the exhibition: how are they different or similar? Sketch some of the distinctive features on these minerals. Citizenship Ruskin’s main inspiration was the natural world. His collections were designed to motivate people into observing the beauty around them, particularly those living in urban areas. Why do you think this was such an important idea? History What happened at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689?

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Henry Moore 1898 – 1986 Mother and Child, 1936 Ancaster stone, height 51cm British Council Collection Henry Moore first carved a mother and child in 1922 and returned to the subject throughout his career. Here, the subject has been realized in Ancaster Stone, a type of oolitic limestone from Lincolnshire that has been quarried as a sculptural material since the Roman period. Moore favoured the surface interest and earthy qualities of stones such as Ancaster, which contrasted with the purity of traditional stones such as white Italian marble. He was not interested in turning stone into flesh, but rather in revealing the values and qualities intrinsic to stone. The figures are represented through careful reference to the undulating forms of the limestone. The result is an almost abstract rendering of the subject that demonstrates the importance that Moore placed on understanding and directly engaging with his chosen material. As Moore himself described in 1934, “Every material has its own individual qualities. It is only when a sculptor works direct, when there is an active relationship with his material, that the material can take its part in the shaping of an idea.” Mother and Child demonstrates Moore’s growing interest in abstraction and surrealism. During the 1930s he explored shapes and forms that appear to be formed as much by the creative processes of nature as by artistic intervention. By aligning his work with nature, with rocks and pebbles eroded by the action of wind and water, Moore strove to create elemental forms that had a universal emotional significance. In Mother and Child, the merging of the figures’ bodies into a single form creates a psychological portrait of the relationship between mother and child that extends beyond formal considerations. The work operates as a poignant expression of the child’s physical and emotional dependence on the mother. Activities •







Art and Design Sketch Mother and Child from a variety of angles. How does this sculpture make you feel? What moods does it invoke? Make a piece of work based on your sketches of this sculpture using oil paints or pastels. Art and Design Mother and Child is a popular topic for many Christian paintings. Look at the works of Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael and compare the composition and subject matter with that of Moore’s sculpture. Geography and Science Ancaster stone is found in Lincolnshire and was used in the construction of many of Lincoln’s buildings. Find out whether your town’s buildings are constructed from local stone. Literacy What is the mother in this sculpture thinking? What dreams does she have for her child?

Image © The Henry Moore Foundation This image must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Katsushika Hokusai 1760 – 1849 The Hollow of the Deep-Sea Wave off Kanagawa, 1829 – 33 Colour woodblock, 25.9 x 73.2cm Bristol Museums Galleries and Archives This iconic image demonstrates the centrality of the sacred mountain of Fuji in Japanese culture even though the mountain is not immediately obvious. Mount Fuji is not simply in the background, but is at the pivotal point of the composition, just as Fuji is central to Japan’s spiritual philosophy. The mountain stands as the still point at the heart of natural forces and man’s perilous journey. Fishermen are braving the elements in three boats, while the crest of the breaking wave in the foreground mirrors the silhouette of the mountain. The earliest record of Fuji’s centrality as a symbol of Japan’s devotion and identity is in a collection of writings, Man’yoshu, dated 720AD. The luminous presence of Mount Fuji was particularly associated with journey and pilgrimage on the Tokaido road between Edo and Kyoto. For the ageing Hokusai, there was also a talismanic symbolism in Fuji, a name whose characters can be read as ‘not death.’ This is among the most inventive images of Fuji in the series of thirty-six images of Mount Fuji created by Hokusai between 1830 and 1833. These depict Fuji from every vantage point and feature the first modern artificially manufactured colour, Berlin blue, originally made by the colour maker Diesbach of Berlin in about 1704. Diesbach accidentally formed the blue pigment when experimenting with the oxidation of iron. The pigment was available to artists in the west by 1724, but was newly introduced to Japan from China in the late 1820s, initiating the fashion for prints featuring this deep rich pigment so well suited to the depiction of water and sky. The introduction of this pigment can be seen as a significant influence on the increasingly realistic depiction of landscape in Japanese art, before the country opened to a flood of direct Western influence. Activities •







Art and Design Look at the sizes of different elements in this print. How does this composition reflect the power of nature over humanity? Art and Design What is the technique used for woodblock printing? What other types of printmaking are there? Experiment with different types of printing using an iconic image. RE Why have mountains been used as symbols for religious experiences or spirituality in some of the world’s religions? You may like to look at Buddhism, Judaism or Christianity as a start point. Literacy Write a Haiku expressing your reaction to Hokusai’s work.

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Jade Mountain Qing Dynasty, 18th century China Jade, height 15.5cm The British Museum, London This finely carved scene in jade depicts sages and boys in a garden beside a mountain and stream, echoing the ancient tradition of monumental landscapes in Chinese painting. Recognising and contemplating the large in the small is a philosophical tradition reaching back thousands of years. Reproduction of the world in miniature is a recurring theme in Chinese art. Representations of mountains signified escape fro China’s highly ordered, bureaucratic society to the natural world. In Taoist thought, the mountains were also the home of the immortals and so symbolised paradise and the attainment of everlasting life. Such artworks would be placed on a scholar’s desk to aid contemplation. They could also be made from turquoise, bronze, porcelain or cared bamboo root. Naturally shaped roots, rocks, gourds and other such objects were similarly symbolic. However, jade has always been the material most highly prized by the Chinese, even above silver and gold. As the first Chinese character dictionary from 100AD states, “the beauty of jade is revealed in five virtues: its lustre produces a feeling of warmth, or the virtue of humaneness; its translucence enables one to comprehend its inner markings, revealing the virtue of morality; its tone when struck reverberates; and its purity penetrates far, which is the virtue of courage; sharp and austere, it injures no one, which demonstrates its purity.” From ancient times, this extremely tough translucent stone has been worked into ornaments, ceremonial weapons and ritual objects. Recent archaeological finds in many parts of China have revealed not only the antiquity of the skill of jade carving, but also the extraordinary levels of development it achieved at a very early date. The English word ‘jade’ is used to describe both nephrite and jadeite. Pure nephrite is white, but the presence of copper, chromium or iron, creates colours ranging from green-greys to yellows and reds. Jadeite, which was rarely used in China before the eighteenth century, encompasses an even wider variety of colours than nephrite. Activities •





Art and Design Make your own ideal miniature garden using a mixture of natural and made items. Geography and Science What is jade and how is it worked? Why was jade used to create weapons such as axe-heads in the past? Literacy Jade is believed to have many magical properties. Find out about some of these and create a cartoon to illustrate this.

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Jacob Epstein 1880 – 1959 Sun Goddess Figure, Crouching c.1910 Limestone, 37.5 x 10.8 x 13.3cm Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

In 1912 Jacob Epstein declared to his patron John Quinn, “I want to carve mountains.” This ambitious statement reveals Epstein’s commitment to stone carving. Like other pioneers of modernist sculpture during the early decades of the twentieth century, Epstein favoured direct carving. Rather than being dictated by preparatory sketches or models, the final work would emerge from the artist’s understanding and direct engagement with his chosen material. He recalled in his autobiography, “I always try and get the whole feeling and expression of the work, with regard to the material I am working in. This is important. There are sculptors who treat a figure in stone in exactly the same manner as they do a figure in clay. With an isolated piece of stone they should regard the sculpture primarily as a bloc, and do no violence to it as stone.” Carved from a single block of limestone, Sun Goddess Figure, Crouching is an early example of Epstein’s commitment to stone carving. The finished work clearly retains the qualities of the original limestone block. The limestone has a rough-hewn directness: carved surface details are limited to those used to define fingers, facial features and the figure’s stylised hair. The pitted surface of the limestone imbues the sculpture with an archaic appearance that firmly links this pagan goddess to Epstein’s admiration of ancient and non-western sculpture. In particular, Sun Goddess Figure, Crouching points to the influence of ancient Egyptian and Indian temple sculpture. It is telling that the figure was carved at the same time that Epstein was planning a twentieth century Stonehenge, an outdoor temple to be located on the Susses Downs. The temple, which was conceived with fellow sculptor Eric Gill, was never realised, but the subject and architectural appearance of Sun Goddess Figure, Crouching suggests that the work was carved with this ambitious and visionary project in mind. Activities •





Art and Design Make a carving of a figure from a lump of plasticine with no preliminary sketches. Photograph and sketch your finished piece. What were some of the challenges or opportunities that you faced by creating art in this way? Geography and Science Limestone is a sedimentary rock. What are some of the uses for this type of rock? Are there any disadvantages to building with limestone? RE Why might some people object to making sculptures of deities?

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

Joseph William Mallord Turner 1775 – 1851 Stonehenge c. 1825 – 8 Watercolour, 27.9 x 40.4cm Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum Stonehenge is one of the world’s greatest prehistoric monuments and for five thousand years has been a constant source of wonder and speculation. Originally a circle of timbers, it was rebuilt in stone around 2500BC. In an amazing feat, about eighty volcanic bluestones, each weighing up to four tonnes, were dragged and floated by river 245 miles from the Prescelli Mountains in North Wales to Salisbury plain where they were erected. After a period of abandonment, in around 2300BC an even bigger Stonehenge was begun. The bluestones were rearranged and giant grey sandstones were transported from Marlborough Downs, twenty miles away, even though these weighed up to fifty tonnes each. Countless artists have been drawn to Stonehenge and it has evoked a variety of strong responses. Familiar all around the world, it provides a striking iconic image resonant with myths, and it has been represented in just about every media. By the time artists such as Turner and Constable sketched Stonehenge, several of the stones had fallen or were leaning at precarious angles. At the beginning of the twentieth century, work began to straighten and reset the stones until at last by 1964, Stonehenge, although ruined, stood as it was erected in prehistoric times on the alignment of the rising of the midsummer sun. Amidst the dramatic ruins, Turner has intensified the drama by showing white lightening streaking through a mass of billowing storm clouds and illuminating the centre of the ancient circle of stones. Around is death and destruction with the shepherd and sheep struck by lightening and the dog at its master’s side. Activities •







Art and Design Design a monument to reflect your sign of the zodiac. Then, as a group, put your monuments together to reflect the astrological year. Citizenship Read some of the news stories inspired by events at Stonehenge during the 1980s. What do you think caused the riots? Geography and Science How was Stonehenge constructed? Design a prototype model showing how the stones were carried and positioned. Literacy What happens at Stonehenge during the Summer Solstice? Write an article for a magazine from the point of view of someone involved in the ceremonies to explain what happens.

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery: 22 May 2006 – 3 September 2006 Millennium Galleries, Sheffield: 23 September 2006 – 7 January 2007

Art at the Rockface: The Fascination of Stone

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