Thursday, August 12, 2010

One Man's Art is Another Man's... Aggravation?




The Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine, is a beautiful mile-long path along the rocky edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Ogunquit was known as "beautiful place by the sea" by the Abenaki tribe. This year when we walked along the path, we noticed many interesting cairns, or stacks of rocks, artfully arranged. As I stopped and took some photos, a few others were also standing in the area looking at the rocks. One man came along and began asking a woman in the group if she knew who was responsible for the piles. Were they made as part of a children's project, he asked? When he learned that one man arranges the rocks in this manner, he wanted to know if the man had taken it upon himself to alter the landscape. He seemed to be irritated and upset by the effort. I was surprised that he took such exception to the cairns, but it was a good lesson in remembering that people have differing points of view and perspectives. I considered the stones to be artistic and thought the man who arranged them probably found it a meditative practice. But I could understand that the other observer clearly felt the display disrupted his natural view of the rocks. What are your thoughts?




Having just read the article titled "Guerilla Art Is..." in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine, this stone-piling seemed to fit with the concept of unsanctioned public exhibits.




PS- I also learned that cairns like these are sometimes used as trail markers

5 comments:

Jan said...

I am one of those who stack rocks, but since my beach is private, only the birds and beasts who use it see what I have done. I'm always surprised to find one standing still upon my return.

maggi said...

I am one of those people who love to see people creating from nature.

Beth D said...

I just spent the weekend on Mackinac Island in Michigan and there are many examples of stacked rocks. Very cool.

kathy york said...

love these photos! makes me wish I were there! Beautiful!

KarenQuilt said...

Just found your blog. Isn't it amazing how we can wander around the Internet and come upon the most delightful finds! I was intrigued by the post about the cairns. I live on and island that gets a lot of driftwood and people like to do the same thing with driftwood. However, I was surprised to learn recently that it is illegal to build them on public lands! Only on your own private beach-front can you build them. So park rangers go around pulling them down all the time on park land. Kind of sad because I so enjoy seeing them. Do stop by my blog when you get a chance. Karen at Quilt History Reports
http://karenquilt.blogspot.com/2012/01/dabbling-and-exploring.html