Stonehenge – Monday 30th July
It’s strangely autumnal this morning. The activity at Airman’s Corner continues. A large cement truck with tumbling drum sits on the site. Hard core is being spread.
Up at Stonehenge it’s another windy day. The sky is full of cloud again. Some of them even look like they contain rain.
Mark selects his spot. He sits close up to the guide rope with his back directly to the A303. The traffic streams past.
It’s not too busy on the walkway yet. And it’s so much nicer when people get the chance to experience here without mad crowds. People are obviously confused by the weather. Many are in shorts but with jumpers and jackets on top. Cold legs are in abundance.
The inevitable photographing of the artists starts, but because it’s not too busy, people don’t crowd around Mark. It’s better for him, but once he’s focused he’s able to blank most other activity out. Practice.
The fields either side of the A303 have completely changed colour in the past month. When we arrived in June, everything was green. Now one side is a golden brown and the other side a swathe of yellow. It’s not a crop because the land there is used for grazing. It might even be ragwort growing wild.
A young boy in football shorts and a blue waterproof stands for ages watching Mark draw. He looks to find his family and realises they’ve walked way past and are heading for the Heel Stone. He scampers off.
A couple of ladies arrive and stand at a respectful distance, peering over Mark’s shoulder. A little Asian girl in a sparkly red coat and pink checked tights stands right up close to Mark’s drawing board, her audio guide clamped to her ear. Then she stops listening, holds the plastic pod in her hand and she just stares.
Drawing is an act of alchemy in some ways, the artist creating an image in front of your eyes. I take it for granted but I guess for a lot of people it’s not something they’ve experienced much, if ever before.
A little boy and his mother stand to talk to Mark. I see him explaining what he’s drawing with. I think the mother is more interested.
On my way out of the monument field I pass a small group of people in sports gear, ‘Estonia’ written across their chests. Olympic visitors, they’re wearing ID tags bearing the legend “London 2012”.