the sunstone


sunstone 50.18962 -5.55514, 122X122cm mixed media

this stone is one in an extraordinary set of stone outcrops that holds many unusual features, from rock basins to zoomorphic forms – deep fissures, runnels, voids, chamber-like enclosures and holed stones. some rock formations are uncannily like the quoits that occupy the flat land between zennor hill, carn zennor and sperris croft.  tilley observes in an archaeology of supernatural places. ‘slabs that have toppled from the top of the rock stacks… rest horizontally or vertically against their sides, creating slanting roofed chambers large enough to enter and walk through.’ the proximity of zennor and sperris quoits raises the possibility that these dramatic rock formations were deliberately mimicked by the builders of these early monuments. ‘the tors were not only their source of inspiration, but they were constructed in the form of tors. in elevating large stones, [sometimes as much as 30 tonnes,] these people were emulating the work of a super-ancestral past. furthermore, the stones from which they were built were taken from the tors. the dolmens, in effect, were the tors dismantled and put back together again to resemble their original form. once constructed, they could themselves be tors, something emphasized by the landscape setting of some of them on hills that lacked tors.’ 

this unusual cup-shaped stone sits at the far end of zennor hill closest to the sea and is part of a larger arrangement of stratified tors. it makes a vertical accent to a stone ‘room’ formed from low lying natural stone walls.this stone formed from a large rock cut water basin has been lifted vertically with its surface in direct north/ south orientation so that  a small hole on its south side projects the sun across this cupped surface to produce a triangular illumination that functions as a seasonal calendar.