Three Cairns (in situ: Des Moines Art Center)

Andy Goldsworthy
2002





All of the wonderful photographs were taken by my brother, Douglas Miller, who generously took them for my website. He owns the copyright. If you have any interest in these images, please contact him directly: Doug Miller
Scottish landscape sculptor Goldsworthy created this work, his largest in the western hemisphere, to link distant sites by means of sculptures. Three Cairns is comprised of three temporary cairns, three permanent sculptures, and three exhibitions on the East and West Coasts of America and in Des Moines. The cairn form (an oval stone structure that Goldsworthy has been creating since the 1980s) connects the two coasts with the center of the country as well as emphasizing the different environments of the Eastern, Western, and Central United States. All the cairns are made from Iowa limestone, chosen to match the field stone Saarinen used in the Des Moines Center for Art.

In 2001, the first of the temporary cairns was created at a prairie site in Iowa administered by Grinnell College. Later in 2001, two remaining temporary cairns were erected in tidal zones on the East and West Coasts. All of the temporary cairns were documented as they were altered by the environment. On the two coasts, the cairns were quickly destroyed by incoming tides while in Iowa Goldsworthy recorded in photographs the cairn in various weather conditions as well as under moonlight and surrounded by fire (when part of the prairie site was burned).


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