Mountain View, California–It’s a Mystery!

photos by Ghostly Penguin Display (aka Khoi), with permission

We said we weren’t going to post any more but we can’t stand knowing of large permanent replicas and not posting them! People count on us for their Stonehenge replica information. Well, in our dreams, anyway!

We actually knew there was some kind of little Stonehenge in Mountain View, California, but until now we had never seen a picture of it. Then one day recently we were idly searching the interwebular thing-a-majiger and, voilá! Here is this odd little sculpture/replica trilithon/circle in a park. With photos by a fellow of the excellent name Ghostly Penguin Display. (No, sorry, we don’t know why either.) Well, obviously we have to post it.

But what is it? We have stared at these pictures for a while, before and after doig searches to see if there’s any info online about this. We found nothing Perfect! That leaves us free to make up whatever we want.

The most alarming thing about this one is that grate under the trilithon. We had to reject out of hand (so to speak!) the theory that it might be an outdoor urinal. Even California is not that funky. And then there’s that strange screen between the uprights, with the pattern of holes in it. Astronomical sighting holes, lining up with sunrises and sets? Stars? The moon? Unlikely with that configuration, although it’s likely that at least one of them will line up with something.

No, the conclusion we have come to, and we plan to stick to it even if the designer or someone points out that we’re wrong (which is not unlikely), is that this piece, although dry now, was designed as a fountain.

Which makes it our third Stonehenge fountain–fourth if you count one built on an old fountain. There was the Falling Water Designs replica, the Warwick University replica (small and temporary), and, of course, the first replica that caused us to use the word lameness in a post, the Waterfall Stonehenge, for sale now. There’s actually another, since one of the trilithons at Caelum Moor in Texas is a fountain, too, although most photos don’t show it running.

Clearly there’s a pattern here, and we think this is the best explanation for this odd yet charming construction. We like the circle of low stones around it, suitable for people to sit on and listen to the falling water while reading or just thinking, or trying not to think. We want one of these in our town’s park!

Score: 6 druids. We may have been influenced by the nice light captured by our Ghostly Penguin friend. We admit we’re a little mysified, too, by that tree or trees just behind it. A young flowering tree with supports? A small grove with some young white birches? We can’t quite figure it out, but that’s okay. Stonehenge is supposed to be a mystery.

And, yes, we have a couple more to come including a nice German one we had somehow missed. See you soon. Happy Thanksgiving to our Stateside readers!

Untitled Stainless Steel or Admit it, Washington State, You Have a Fetish!

Stainless02photo from the website of the General Administration of the State of Washington, with permission

Okay, so it’s only a sculpture with Stonehenge references, but coming as it does from the Stonehenge State, we thought this huge untitled piece worth documenting on Clonehenge. The sculptor was Lee Kelly, an artist well known in the Pacific Northwest.

Olympia is the capital city of Washington, and this sculpture is installed near the Transportation Building on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. Stonehenge reaching right to the Capitol of the Stonehenge State! According to the website we linked to above, Kelly said that with this sculpture he wanted to “deal with the ancient attitudes of man and his relationship to what he makes with his mind and hand.

Stainless03To suggest ancient attitudes, he mimics, without stating, the trilithon, in steel. It is a likable public piece. We can imagine children clambering over it and running through it. And by children we partly mean, of course, the imaginations of adults who are too stiff about their image in the eyes of others to actually do any of that. But their minds suggest it and their fingers ache to touch that cool steel.

The sculpture was completed in 1973, and we think the Seventies show in it a little, that cosmic resonance people looked for back then, the plainness and friendliness. Kelly also said about the piece, “the forms are simple in that everyone can ‘understand’ them. The mystery is in their interrelationships, the spaces they create, as well as the relationship to the building and plaza.

Here is another work Kelly did at roughly the same time in his career, and here are other works, most of them newer. Of course, this isn’t a Stonehenge replica so it is difficult to score. Score: 4½ druids as a replica. Quite a bit higher as a piece of public art. We think it is handsome and has that quality of suggesting greater things! You can see the other Stonehenge replicas and sculptures in Washington State here. What a place for henge-ophiles!

If anyone has any replicas they would like posted, this would be a great time to send them in, as we’re running uncharacteristically low, not because of scarcity, of course, but because the photo permissions have been elusive. Come on, help us out. We’re almost at the end of our first year of posting, so you can call it a birthday present!

Asian Cupboard Henge: Stonehenge-Generated Art

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“Pacific Super (Stonehenge),” by Stephanie Syjuco, used with permission

Stonehenge as a basic form for art is a recurring theme on Clonehenge. The Whitney-exhibited artist whose work this is, Stephanie Syjuco (her website is here), was born in the Philippines and lives in San Francisco, and one of her themes is the interplay of eastern and western cultures as it manifests in the marketplace as the average person experiences it. Her statement for this artwork:

Description: downloaded an image of Stonehenge from the internet and used it as a template to go shopping at Pacific Super, a chain of Asian supermarkets in Daly City. I chose products based on how their shape and size would “fit” into my own recreation of Stonehenge. The resulting model is made of mainly inexpensive food products imported from China, Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand. ‘Pacific Super’ addresses issues of global production, consumption and cross-cultural translation, using the familiar image of a world-famous ‘mystical’ European landmark and everyday Asian goods.”

We’re willing to bet that the original builders of Stonehenge never saw this one coming! Little did they know the multitude of messages they would someday help people communicate.  If only we were the direct inheritors of their estate. Think of the royalties!

Looking at this as a structure, we can tell Stephanie was working from an image (*applause* sadly, many people don’t bother). We can see the outer circle and taller inner trilithon horseshoe. There are fallen stones and even a hint at bluestones. This one is very nice for what it is, rising above the average trilithon circle made of cupboard boxes (and oh, yes, there are some!).

Score: 6 druids, maybe 6½ because we like that clean photograph look, plus–we sometimes use that kind of soap!

By the way, a friendly wave and hello to any readers blown our way by search-engine winds while navigating for more about the newly discovered bluestone circle near Stonehenge. We invite you to have a look around the blog. We’ve posted photos or links to well over 200 Stonehenge replicas and there are more to come. We suggest a look at our interview and the list of Large Permanent Replicas for a start!

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Field of the Rat: Modern Megaliths of Spain

lewoskyphoto by Jacobo Fraga, aka Lewosky

This monument was made for a very serious purpose: to memorialise the victims of pro-Franco repression, particularly those who died in terrible incidents in the area. Outside the  Galician city of A Coruna is an area called Campo de la Rata, or Field of the Rat, where this and another modern megalithic monument* are located. This one was designed by the artist Isaac Díaz Pardo.

Galicia is the Celtic province of Spain, and that may explain the tendency toward megaliths in these memorials, the myth of the Celtic culture being the megalith builders being very persistent. An inscription says, roughly, “Martyred in these fields before the murky sea for loving just causes.” It seems to be playing on that same idea of sacrifice at Stonehenge as at the Maryhill, Washington State replica.

This photo seems to capture some of the tragic meaning and haunting memory of the monument. Nice work, Sr. Fraga!

How can we make a funny? Here we see the Stonehenge idea used well, to give gravitas to a piece of land that will forever commemorate the sad loss of life. Red paint, like blood, is streaked on some of the stones, and it almost as if those great stones represent the individuals who were tortured and put to death here.

Score: 7½ druids. No, it’s not a circle, and you can see here and here that the form is even more unusual than it looks above, but this sculpture, set on a spit of land that reaches out into the sea, captures a poignancy and a weight that brings it closer to the spirit of the original than one would expect. Beautiful!

*The other monument, Menhires por la Paz, a group of modern standing stones with a rectangular window in each one, can be seen here.

Sponge Sculpture Stonehenge

untitled

piece of  the HIT Entertainment web page on Sponge Sculptures

Found this bit and had to pass it on. Click on the link above or the picture to see full instructions on how to do sponge sculptures. We agree with them: if you’re learning sculpture, why wouldn’t it be Stonehenge or and Easter Island head you started out with? Or preferably both!

It’s a nice little model they have there. We would give it 6 druids  at first glance. After all, doesn’t everyone want a Spongehenge?! If you decide to make one, please keep us in mind! Hint: how about rainbow colours?

Stonehenge at the Commonwealth Museum, Massachusetts

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photos from the Commonwealth Museum website

Once again, perseverance pays off. We saw a picture of this months ago and  couldn’t find it until a search for Stonehenges at museums (there are plenty but few pictures!) turned  it up. bostonIt’s hard to make out the entire construction. The single trilithon is accompanied by what appears to be a rectangular space enclosed with low standing stones. The site says: “You can tent Stonehenge and barbecue inside.” Now there’s a money-making scheme that English Heritage hasn’t tried. To our knowledge. One can just imagine an American celebrity wedding taking place in a tented-over Stonehenge. If only it weren’t so close to the A303!

boston2Our Boston replica, however, has the advantage of an ocean view. Looks like a lovely place to spend an hour or two, but is it a Stonehenge replica? It is another example, like Stroudhenge and the California sculpture-which must-never-be-named, of a sculpture known as Stonehenge and not a true replica.

It does have a megalithic look, as of a collapsed chambered tomb with a trilithon entrance. Not a true replica, but you can bet we’ll visit on our next Boston trip! Score: 5 ½ druids. About time Massachusetts gets on the Large Permanent list!

Stonehenge at the Office Plaza, Renton, Washington State

renton-1

photo by Denise Zullig, with permission

In the center of the Southgate Office Plaza, a few blocks from the WOTC (Wizards of the Coast) headquarters, in Renton, Washington, stands this odd homage to Stonehenge, without even a plaque for explanation. We have been on the track of this sculpture/monument for months and only through the Flickr photostream of Rick Umali were we able to track it down.

renton-rick-umali[photo at left by Rick Umali] We got in touch with City of Renton Communications Director  Preeti Shridhar, who through Jennifer Davis Hayes was able to send us  great photos by Denise Zullig. It takes a village to do a Clonehenge post! Our thanks to all of you.

renton-3What else do we know? Almost nothing. It’s an odd one, an arc of trilithons made up of what appear to be cement blocks. Judging by the architecture of the building (nicknamed the Ziplock building–well, look at it!) in the lower photo, also by Zullig, we would guess that it’s been there a few decades. But who built it, how and why, are unknown to us. It’s Washington State, we’re tempted to say, so of course there’s a Stonehenge!

Score: 5 druids. It’s not at all accurate, but what a pleasant surpise to find something like this in a corporate setting! If we find out more, we’ll post it. In the meanime, props to the people of The Stonehenge State. Way to honour the ancients!

You can see it on Google Street View here.