This is one of the 38 stones that make up the Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria, England. It is believed to date from around 3000 BC, and be one of the oldest circles in Britain. 50 stones were standing here in 1725, but were probably taken for building material. The mandala design on the face of the stone was created this week in my studio, and is a kind of graffiti, that only exists digitally in this image, and not on the stone itself. The art of graffiti in a designated place can sometimes be exciting to look at, but appalling to see on historic sites. I was saddened to see graffiti on many of the buildings in Venice, Italy, the last time I visited
Although Castlerigg is the most visited stone circle in Cumbria, on the day that I chose for my visit, it was deserted. To be totally alone in this ancient and sacred place was an incredible experience that I will never forget. The caretakers for this site English Heritage have located the car park well away from the area, which helps protect the site, so you have to walk down a long hedge lined pathway to get to it.The surrounding views from Castlerigg are naturally beautiful, with the hills and mountains of the Lake District in the distance, and with hardly any sign of buildings that would impair this perfect setting, but before setting out to visit Castlerigg Stone Circle, check out these two links for further information…
This is the mandala above that was used on the Castlerigg stone, and was painted with 2 LED hand held lights, as shown in my self- portrait below. As I said before on this blog, this technique of painting and drawing with lights relates closely to Chinese ribbon dancing, so instead of trails of ribbon, you are left with trails of light which are captured on camera, due to the long exposure.
I was assisted for this photograph by my son Gabriel, who both fired the camera, and operated the handheld flash. The SLR digital camera was fixed to a steady tripod, and the exposure was 15 seconds at f22. The flash was fired during the whole exposure from several directions at about a third of the way through the painting process, which allowed me to be seen, but without effecting the painting.