hole in the stone


the action of water on granite over geological time has created forms which have become culturally embedded. the line of granite runs from dartmoor through bodmin, st austell, camborne, and west penwith, and on out to the silly isles, and holds some of the most concentrated collection of early pre-historic structures in britain. along side these exist some extraordinary granite formations. it is easy to surmise that they were the inspirational origin of these early structures.from the time of the mesolithic hunter-fisher-gatherers through to the neolithic and bronze age herder-farmers, west penwith has been one of the centres of lithic culture and technology. in these stone structures – the menhirs (standing stones), the early quoits or dolmans, the later entrance tombs and stone circles – we have a unique array of built forms that, together with their natural counterparts of tors, logan stones, stacking stones, rock basons, and caves form the backdrop to a rich symbolic life. it is this that resonates through time with the quest of the surrealists to establish modern myths, with the cubists to find a link between material meaning and modern life, the later interest in land art and the ‘minimalists’ and the concerns of material as such and site. it is this juxtaposition between ancient form, myth and modernity that is explored here.