a space for stone culture and mineral thinking
The structure is made polished black gabbro. It consists of two sets of steps, set at right angles to each other. The first flight is made up of three steps with a 20cm rise, the second of four steps with a 15cm rise. They meet at a raised square platform. Both the platform and steps are surrounded by a wrought iron railing to prevent falls.
She approached up the small combe, through the woods, a grey mist making everything silent except for the crunch of rotting wood beneath her soles as she threaded her way across the forest floor. The adit entrance was up ahead, becoming apparent first thanks to the ferrous stream dribbling from its mouth, joining the stream below. Slightly radioactive spoil heaps are still apparent on either side of the portal although now overgrown with mosses, dotted with harts tongue ferns and covered with leaf litter.
The point of view is that of a god, fixed approximately 12km up in the air, just above the troposphere, on a clear, hot day, looking obliquely down through the milky haze of ozone at an extinct volcano in the middle of an empty tropical sea. It is nearly a science-class model, conical with blown out caldera close to the apex. Time now accelerates quickly, days are skipped in milliseconds, so the light remains the same and we remain geosynchronous, geostatic in our view. The sharp rims of black basalt rapidly collapse, boulders streaming downwards, mile wide cliff faces shearing off in clouds of ashen dust to create tsunami in the water below. The massive walls of grey cinder disintegrate on both the outside and inside of the cone, peeled from the memory of the magmatic chamber, peeled backwards like a compression bandage from a phantom limb. As the volcano lowers its rim widens so that it is many miles across. The sea breaks in just as time slows back down to that of life. As we come to a temporal halt all that remains to be seen from our rarefied vantage point is a ragged arc of dark green islands in a clear turquoise ocean.
Extracts from forthcoming project One Thousand Stones