Striding Arches

Striding Arches is a hugely innovative artist-led project which celebrates and interprets a little known area of Dumfries & Galloway in south-west Scotland. Andy Goldsworthy’s red sandstone arches ‘stride’ around the natural amphitheatre that is Cairnhead, deep in the Southern Uplands. In the heart of the glen, another arch springs from a disused farm building, The Byre, creating a place that is both sculpture and shelter.

Poet and artist Alec Finlay and letter carver Pip Hall have both visited Cairnhead, and have produced diverse interpretive work related to the natural history and the human history of the place.

Cairnhead Community Forest Trust was set up because Forestry Commission Scotland wanted to encourage the public to use and benefit from the forest here. Andy Goldsworthy, who has lived locally for over twenty years, had been searching for the right home for a series of arches on hilltops. A unique partnership was the result, and in 2002 work and planning began involving the local community and a broad array of both local and national organisations. The outcome is a powerful and sensitive meeting of art and nature, amply satisfying one of the project’s own aims – to create a sense of place – and offering the visitor to this beautiful and unspoilt part of Britain a world-class experience.  

Click on the map below to access a detailed map of the Striding Arches project at Cairnhead.

Click here for the Andy Goldsworthy Interview page

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