Strawhenge: When You’re Ready to Bale!

photos from the website of the Dry Stone Wall Association of Canada, with permission

Strawhenge is a conceptual installation of large straw bales constructed to celebrate the relationship between the momentary and the monumental.” So begins the text on the website for this straw Stonehenge replica. Strawhenges are among the most common large henges, and we haven’t been posting each one we find. But after reading this website we suspect we have stumbled upon some kindred spirits, and since we haven’t posted a straw or hay henge for a while, here it is! (Others: Strawhenge in Essex and Straw Echo Henge, and a great one we never got photo permissions for *sigh*, Strohhenge.)

It is tempting to quote large swaths of text and, well, we’ll indulge a little. John Shaw Rimington is quoted, “when looking over a field of large bales in a field. ‘It is compelling,’ he says ‘to imagine that these large objects, dotted all over the landscape, are not just dropped haphazardly behind baler machines, but rather, they have been carefully moved into position to conform to some greater planetary design.’ ”

The text continues: “He goes on to point out that, a universal and intriguing sense of purpose and meaning lies in each one of us, and is needing to be awakened. Strawhenge is a whimsical structure that allows the onlooker to yield to this tendency to see a field of large bales as something of a phenomena. The common is allowed to seem unusual. The familiar rural landscape becomes infused with newness and significance again. The relationship of the temporary, as represented by the straw, and the permanent, as implied by the ‘stone-likeness’ of the large standing bales, creates a powerful contrast.

Oh, people, this is our kind of talk! It’s so fun to talk about the nonsensical in serious cosmic ways, because it’s laughable at first, but upon further cogitation has glimmers of truth. When you see a Stonehenge replica, you know someone was reaching for something, one of those deep-inside things we don’t believe in, let alone understand. And at the same time, let’s face it, they’re being very silly. People at play.

It is pleasant to note that someone did indeed look at pictures of Stonehenge and attempt to reproduce some aspects of its present condition here. The inner trilithon horse shoe does face the uprights supporting the three remaining adjacent lintels. And the north-south orientation matches Stonehenge’s, we’re told. We give points for that.

Score: 8 druids! They earned that last half druid when they wrote the site text. Nicely done! Thank you, Mr. Shaw Rimington, for getting in touch with us. We approve whole-heartedly of your conceptual art installation and find it outstanding in its field.

Har har.

P.S.: Hey, Brits, send in your snowhenges. We know they’re out there! Other citizens are welcome, too.

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