AVEBURY

art: 1. Valediction; 2. Arc Arcanum; 3. Avebury Stone; 4. Of Henge and Stone (image pending); 5. Avebury Henge & Stone; 6. Avebury: the Southern Circle
photo: 7. Summer Solstice

AVEBURY, WILTSHIRE
From the earliest surviving records of Aubrey and Stukeley in the C17 and C18 respectively, Avebury, also referred to in antiquity as Afa’s Burh, has been the subject of numerous theories, excavations and religious bigotry. The henge was constructed around 3000BCE, with a 65’ wide ditch varying from 20’ to 30’ in depth. Excavated by Gray in 1911, he found that it was flat-bottomed with a width of about 12’. The outer circle of stones was erected in approximately 2000BCE, initially comprising 98 local sandstone megaliths known as sarsens. Only 27 remain, the largest at the north east entrance weighing 40 tonnes and 13’ high. There are four entrances to Avebury, 50’ wide, with the famous Devil’s Chair at the southern entrance leading to the West Kennet Avenue. Within the outer circle lie two more: the southern, decimated by the removal of just about all its stones, measured 315’ in diameter and the northern 295’, which surrounded The Cove, of which only 2 stones remain. There is evidence that these actually predate the outer circle and that another circle was started and abandoned within the north-east boundary. Many of the sarsens were uncovered from where they had fallen or been toppled and re-erected by Keiller in the 1930s. And it's the only stone circle with a pub in the middle!
OS: SU.102.699 On the A361 north from the A4 heading west from Marlborough in Wiltshire.


VALEDICTION
oil on board, 18" x 20", 2002, £NFS
Ltd Ed prints available (/250), Postcard prints available

This image was initailly slightly larger, with more foreground distancing the stones. However, I later felt that the original had to focus more on the rain-washed colours of the stones after a storm rather than the setting, so I hacked off several inches. The staggered face-on stones of the foreground enhance the interior of the circle, entered from between the two main background stones, mimicking human interloping and by minimalising their bedding-in belie their strength and solidity, again humanising them. Or at least that's what I thought!
Click HERE to read Valediction


ARC ARCANUM
oil on canvas, 40" x 32", 2003, £510

Avebury is such a magnificent arena of atmosphere that I was intrigued with the idea of a minimalist representation. This eventually grew into this image, using as few colours as possible, picking out the stark contrast of hewn stone against vivid tones of the natural. With the Devil's Chair and entrance to the henge far left I wanted to display the important relationship of the other stones. Shadows creeping in from far right hint at further megaliths and whilst the stone at the forefront is imposing, it is therefore not necessarily the focus.
Click HERE to read On Leaving Avebury


SUMMER SOLSTICE

Taken just before dawn at Avebury in 2000CE, with the crowd within the southern circle and lining the bank. Terry, the Keeper of the Stones is warming up off screen left!
Click HERE to read False Dawn


AVEBURY STONE
oil on board, 14" x 12", 2002, £NFS

A simple study of one of the huge sarsens at Avebury; in this case the magnificent Devil's Chair at the south entrance. It didn't seem complete or a realistic study without the votive, but you can hardly pick it out from the photo.
Click HERE to read The Sarsen's Lure

image pending
OF HENGE & STONE
oil on canvas, 12" x 8", 2004, image pending


AVEBURY HENGE & STONE
ink, A3, 2000, £NFS


AVEBURY: THE SOUTHERN CIRCLE
ink, A4, 2002, £35

Back to The Gallery
Home