Vicky Hunter

Tag Location: Chichester, UK

Tag Score: Engage with something sculptural

This writing captures my engagement with a work by the British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. Along the South Downs Way in West Sussex, Goldsworthy was commissioned to make 13 chalk stone sphere sculptures, each measuring 2 metres across. The spheres are scattered along the five-mile trail and the materials were sourced from a local chalk quarry in 2002. Each sphere is rough-hewn and shaped into an irregular ball shape criss-crossed with indentations that resemble the trails of slugs or snails and reflect the maker’s indentations or markers from elbows or hands. The exploration took place in March 2021, on the first day following the UK’s relaxing of restrictions following the second wave of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. I took the opportunity to explore the WalkingLab provocation to ‘encounter something sculptural’.

Moving with the sculpture, I rested my back against its form, traced its peripheral edges and moulded my hands, knees, palms and shoulders into its rounded indentations. The exploration produced slow, contemplative movements and prompted moments of reflection. Resting my weight against this solid form, I looked out across the expansive view, across the hills and the South Downs countryside, and acknowledged my sense of gratitude: an overwhelming sense of relief to be outdoors, privileged to have this time on this sunny day, in this place, in this way. Freedom to move, to be outdoors, to move freely from place to place, step-by-step, movement by movement, weight shift by weight shift. Afforded time, moments, minutes, stepping outside measured metres and clock watching, feeling the pace and rhythm of things, soil, gravel, grass, mud, sheep, birds, insects, the wind and the Sun’s rays moving to shared rhythms, located here, next to the sculptural form, marking a place in the landscape, a place besides, within, behind, in front of my own fleshy form. A place to pause, a place to dance, and a place to converse with human and nonhuman others.