The Erratics

Permanent Public ArtWork for Cambridge University, 2019

‘The Erratics’ is a series of permanant artworks at the heart of Cambridge, UK. Erratic no.1 was found in ‘Wadi Rum’ in the kingdom of Jordan and was installed in Bene’t Yard (off Bene’t St) in Cambridge in 2019. A stainless-steel plaque, etched with a map and text describes the long, slow journey that the rock made from the Jordanian desert into the wind and the rain of Cambridge. An ‘Erratic’ is a term from geology describing a boulder or stone that has been transported into a geography where it does not actually belong. Most often created through the action of glaciers, ‘Erratics’ often sit precariously ‘on’ the landscape – having been transported hundreds, or thousands of miles and then slowly lowered by the receding glacier into an alien context.

‘The Erratics’ is a multifaceted artwork that will unfold slowly over 10 years. ‘Erratic no.1’ is only the first of series of boulders from around the planet that will be transported to Cambridge, and balanced on buildings across Cambridge University’s ‘New Museum Site’. The wider project also includes drawings, photos and writing from the journeys made to find the stones. In 2022 a journey was made to the interior of Iceland to locate the next Erratic – a boulder of volcanic pumice that is due to be installed soon.

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