Cairn: Shore Stone and Mountain Stone, St. John's, Newfoundland 1982

Commissioned by the Art Gallery of Memorial University in conjunction with the solo exhibition On Site, 1982

medium: beach rocks and quarried stone
original dimensions: 8 feet wide x 8 feet long x 2 feet high (2.4 x 2.4 x 0.6 m).

These two kinds of stone are drawn from the landscape in the St. John's region. There is quiet evidence of the sea in the waterworn shore stones, rounded by centuries of waves and tides acting upon them. The other stone, though, having been quarried out of inland elevations here, is broken and angular. I order both these kinds of shapes into the simple precise structure of a square.

This is a part of the landscape which is being organized now by human hands, not by glaciers or volcanoes, nor bulldozers or cranes. No stone is heavier than what I can lift. The assemblage of stones may change on this site. A mountain has permanence to us, but even a mountain has time. This cairn may take no new shape for years, many years, if the world were a still, still place. Certainly there will be weather. And no absence of people. This is a sculpture of duration, not permanence.

Marlene Creates, 1982