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Saturday, 29 May 2010

Useful Sculptures

DSCN6202-1

Surround by Richard Nonas

This photo was taken on a Sunday afternoon after all the shops in the city had closed. Normally on a sunny summer day there will often be people using these stone chairs as seats. Unlike some of our other recent sculptures, these ones were made for it…!

Standing in the square in front of our Town Hall, still used as court house, this circle of stone chairs reminds of ancient meeting places for assemblies - ‘t(h)ings’ - discussing matters of importance, and keeping up law and order. Ancient circles of standing stones were traditionally believed to be used for gatherings such as these. Those were/are called “rings of judges”.

A 'thing' or 'ting' (Old Norse, Old English and Icelandic: þing; other modern Scandinavian languages: ting) was the governing assembly in Germanic and some Celtic societies, made up of the free people of the community and presided by lawspeakers, meeting in a place called a thingstead. One task for the ‘ting’ was to hear witnesses to rule whether the accused was guilty or not. Today the term still lives on in the official names of national legislatures and political and judicial institutions in the Nordic countries.  (Wikipedia)

(I will be showing close-up photos of the fountain some other day.)

5 comments:

ADRIAN said...

So that's where Tynwald comes from. It is the parliament of the Isle of Man. I knew it was of Norse origin but have never thought to ascertain the meaning.
Another grand picture to accompany the post.

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Beautiful pics. Love the history.

Darryl and Ruth : )

Sandra said...

these i like, they make total sense to me and also give a place to rest and enjoy the fountain.

Ginny said...

Fascinating post. Where is all that greenery coming from? It looks like a hedge? It seems just suspended in the air!! This whole picture looks like some kind of modernistic art that incorporates something ancient. It has many things going on and has many more meanings than you probably origionally intended. The chairs remind me a bit of a civilized Stonehedge, or one step up from the ancient stone rings and mounds. this is perhaps your most thought provoking post yet. Keep 'em coming, you rock!!!

DawnTreader said...

Ginny - haha - there are a number of tree trunks holding up the "greenery" although I admit they do seem to melt into the background in this picture.

As for the stone chairs, yes, I do think 'civilized Stonehenge' captures some of the intended symbolism.

My other blog: The Island of the Voices

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Over-the-Top Award from NPT @ The Nature..., 3 November 2009.
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From Scriptor Senex @ Rambles From My Chair, 22 November 2009

About Me - DawnTreader

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Västergötland, Sweden
(March 2011) PLEASE NOTE that my two main blogs have been moved and continue here: Beyond the Lone Islands and here: DawnTreader's Picture Book 2

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