The unique artist Andy Goldsworthy's installation Stone River (2001) on Stanford University campus was an amazing creation, which was, according to the University's website, "a wall-like serpentine sculpture set in about three acres of land to the northeast of the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts. It is about 3 1/2 feet high and about 4 feet wide at its base. It is made of more than 6,500 stones, including about 700 triangular coping stones weighing between 20 and 50 pounds each that top the sculpture. Each coping stone was individually shaped at a different angle to fit the wall precisely. The total weight of the piece is about 128 tons."
I have several chances to admire this giant before, always in dry seasons, and that serpentine stone wall together with the the withered meadow it sat on, generated an overwhelmingly desolate and barren atmosphere, which was deeply moving and impressive.
Last December, when I visited it again, immediately after many days' of heavy rains, and I was utterly delighted by the experience of another kind - the refreshingly green and lush meadow contrasted dramatically with the now moss-coated, though still yellow-hued stone wall, and the meandering installation left a strong impression of being a living and breathing creature, vital and larger than life. A marvel.
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