One of the lovely things about our local laundrette is the huge pile of old magazines people have left behind for you to read while you’re waiting for your socks to tumble dry. On Saturday morning I picked up an old copy of the New Yorker and found a long piece by one of my favourite writers about something I’ve always meant to do — an essay by Geoff Dyer about visiting ‘The Spiral Jetty’ and ‘The Lightning Field’.
I’ve always been taken by land art as it’s sometimes called. Whether it’s Andy Goldsworthy’s sculptures in Grizedale or Anthony Gormley’s Another Place. The Spiral Jetty is perhaps the most famous of the pieces by a group of artists in the 1970s who tried to create a ‘museum without walls’ in the landscape. It’s over 40 years old now and has come and gone several times as the climate has changed in Utah, submerging and then revealing it over time. Similarly, Dyer writes about the feeling you get that the stainless steel poles of the Lightning Field will be there long after the humans have gone and it will take some very clever aliens to work out what they are.
One day maybe I’ll manage to do that road trip tour of all the land art sites. In the meantime, if you’re lucky enough to have an online subscription to the New Yorker you can read the piece here.