Every summer stone sculptures appear on the sandy shores of the Bay of Skaill. This year they are particularly spectacular and numerous.
Towers of stone balance precariously one upon the other awaiting the destruction by the next high tide or stormy sea.
If you can, get along to see them before the inevitable happens.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
Addition to post from Bernie Bell:
It’s not just Skaill Bay. A few years ago, I took Ben-the-dog on his usual walk to the Bay of Hinderayre, just down from where we live, and found on the beach these ‘sculptures’ . Mike and I later met the couple who were ‘raising the stones’ . It’s mainly the man that did it. They’re from Northumberland, and were staying at the holiday cottage, The Ayre, on the Bay. The man has a deep love of stone, and raises these pieces, whenever he gets the chance. They are very much ephemeral pieces. Each day, he made new ones, and each day, the incoming tide, knocked them over. They aren’t fixed in any way, he just finds the perfect point of balance, and, as he said himself “gravity is the glue”. I like that, as, yes, indeed, gravity is the glue, without which we’d all fly off into space! The couple will be back, as Orkney has ‘caught’ them. It was their first time here, but they loved it. He’d left his pieces on beaches all round Orkney.
The man said, that he holds the stone, relaxes, and the stone just leaves his hands, and finds it’s balance. I told him that this reminded me of something the Harray Potter ( aka Andrew Appleby) said to me, some years ago. It was about when he seeks inspiration to produce styles of pots from other times, he said something like, that he will relax, focus, let the inspiration work through his arms and hands, and the clay almost forms itself. The man’s approach to balancing the stones, reminded me of that. Going with the flow.
Anyhoo, we thought these pieces were great, and also, for that matter, that he was happy to take so much trouble, to produce something which was a delight to come upon on a walk, yet would then go with the next tide. Ephemeral sculptures.