In no way do I want to criticise or devalue the work of Lynn Bennett-Mackenzie. She clearly has a style that is both energetic and sensitive to her environment. However, I have come across plenty of people who think that the placing of such cultural artefacts in natural environments is at best littering and at worst an act of landscape vandalism. I’m not suggesting that the destruction of this work was done by art critics or wild land enthusiasts but even the building of a stone cairn in such locations can incite rage in some to the point of demolition.
I heard Hamish Fulton remark that every time he came across sculpture in nature he wanted to put a notice on it that said ‘ birds once flew here’. An article I read in the John Muir Trust magazine a couple of years ago gave a full page of blistering rhetoric on this subject, pointing the finger at artists such as Goldsworthy and Glob pretty much describing them as litter louts. The author could have added Gormley to this list I’m sure, and I for one would not be averse to such a critique if it were not for the fact that such installations have been around in sacred locations for thousands of years in the form of stone circles etc. Maybe it is as Caroline Stanton says, a process of allowing these ‘things’ to mature in landscape a ‘growing up over time’.
After hundreds of years maybe no one will think of them as either bad art or an intrusion into nature.