Carving the Gatekeeper Stone

The Gatekeeper Trust is contributing to the carving of the Gatekeeper Stone into a book of nature, embodying the wisdom held in the land, as part of the “Green Corridor Walk Through Time” in Tout Quarry, Portland. Further funding is being sought for this “green corridor” which descends from the Memory Stones into the quarry, passing in future under the reinstated limestone portico from Fleet Street, which returns to its native home.

This crystalises the ethos of the Portland Sculpture & Quarry Trust who negotiated the original lease with ARC Hanson plc that saved Tout Quarries from further mineral extraction. Artists Hannah Sofaer and Paul Crabtree are “working with a new model for interdisciplinary exchange and circular economy in partnership with the stone industry and climate scientists primary source research, curating site-specific work and environmental legacy through skills and knowledge exchange.” Gatekeeper Trust is now a collaborator in this partnership.

To give an idea of what the Gatekeeper Stone will look like once carved, Hannah cites The Forgotten Landscape”, a site-specific installation along the Camino to Santiago de Compostella. Hannah explains “The drawing and carving, and the cutting, is dependent on the stone, its original formation, even its mass, and ultimate integrity.” She further states ``There is hope that some knowledge is still protected by nature, and can be rediscovered. The message can be read as one that recognizes our origins in nature, the origin of our beliefs and way of living in nature, even our unconscious recognition, and identification with nature as a source of limitless, even cosmological meaning.”

(The Forgotten Landscape, Salas ,Galicia, sculptor Hannah Sofaer, The Gatekeeper Stone, Portland)

Listening to Nature and sensitivity to place, and the earth’s bio-culture are of great significance. The Gatekeeper butterfly will alight on the stone, dedicated to planetary and personal healing through pilgrimage, connecting with the spirit of place and introducing a spiritual element honouring the sacredness of this land temple. The white limestone provides the building blocks of St Paul’s Cathedral and 12 City of London churches rebuilt using sacred geometry after the Great Fire of London (as described in Gatekeeper publication Legendary London, 2012).

Pilgrims who attend the Portland weekend 17 and 18 August 2024 will have the opportunity to carve a Gatekeeper butterfly onto a Portland stone plaque, to take back to their own landscape. The combined butterfly effect will radiate outwards, spreading light and love of our precious land.

Angela Shaw


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