Friday, October 18, 2013

Contra Vandalism

This is a 'guerrilla' cairn installation Sean Donnelly built the other day on the Grand river trail. He says " It's been a long time since I have built up a spontaneous cairn from a random stone pile but I have always sent you pictures when I have, so I'll keep that tradition.

"It feels good to just build for the love of it sometimes. It's tucked away up a creek bed in an opening that is pretty picturesque. I kind of wanted to draw attention to that space but not take away from it and also give people something to almost reward them for straying from the main trail and adventuring a little. It's 5' high and built from the stone in the creek, wild grape vine and urbanite (concrete) for the coping."

Sean used the existing materials around the area to build the cairn
John Scott wrote to say "The idea of hiding sculpture in the forest for others to discover is one of the most generous forms of art."

My thought is that this type of walling which I call "contra-vandalism", is a way of getting back at the chaos, destruction, meaningless (and yes often bureaucratic red tape) that surrounds us. It's doing something structural, beautiful and uplifting in our community without having to jump through a myriad of administrative hoops to get it approved.


  1. As a strayer, adventurer and delighter in surprises, I appreciate the beauty of the idea, not to mention the outcome. Kind of like geocaching for stone enthusiasts...

  2. Is this in a public park? I'm not sure how I feel about the practice of removing stones from the river bed to build a sculpture. What happened to "leave no trace"?