Center for Art + Environment Blog

May 17, 2011   |   William L. Fox

Andrew Rogers — Time and Space

Time and Space

“Ancient Language” geoglyph by Andrew Rogers in Chile’s Atacama Desert, 2004. The rock-and-mortar sculpture measures 80m long x 3m high and can be found on the ground and online at: 22 deg 52’ 20.60 deg s, 68 deg 18’ 04.83 deg w. Photo by Andrew Rogers, all rights reserved.

Andrew Rogers, an Australian businessman who in mid-career switched to being an artist, invited me to come to his opening at the 18th StreeT Arts Center in Santa Monica to help open the “Time and Space” exhibition of his geoglpyhs placed around the world. Andrew started his art making as a figurative sculptor working in bronze, then evolved into abstract art. He still spends most of his time on large bronze commissions for public and private spaces, but for the last thirteen years has spent about twenty percent of his time creating a massive series of land art works.

The project, which now has forty-seven stone geoglyphs placed in thirteen countries and all seven continents, has deployed as few as a handful of people placing black rocks out on a frozen lake in the Antarctic to as many as a thousand Chinese soldiers building rock walls across several square miles. Andrew photographs the results each time from the air, sometimes flying only a few hundred feet above them in a hot air balloon or helicopter, but also documenting them with satellite images taken from as high as 480 miles.

The works fall into two series. At each site he works with local people to select a visual symbol native to and important in the life of the region, which he translates into figures such as the “Ancient Language” piece seen above in Chile. The other series consists of a motif he repeats in each place, one of his “Rhythm of Life” works–the one in Slovakia is pictured below. Andrew thus links the local to the global while committing that most ancient of gestures, linking sky to ground, Earth to Heaven.

You can find Andrew Roger’s work at his website: http://www.andrew rogers.org. It’s an interesting exercise to locate the works on Google Earth, first to see the works, but then to put them into the context of roads, towns, and larger geographical features. His land art may have its roots in the geoglyphs of the Nazca Lines in Peru and the rock art of his native Australia, but its contemporary reality is as a sign system meant to be read from above as if our continents were pages in a book.

“Rhythms of Life” by Andrew Rogers in the High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia, 2008. The granite stones create a figure 35m x 45m, and can be found at: 49 deg 00’ 13.69 deg n,  20 deg 46’ 19.78 deg e. Photo by Andrew Rogers, all rights reserved.

“Rhythms of Life” by Andrew Rogers in the High Tatras Mountains of Slovakia, 2008. The granite stones create a figure 35m x 45m, and can be found at: 49 deg 00’ 13.69 deg n, 20 deg 46’ 19.78 deg e. Photo by Andrew Rogers, all rights reserved.

Tags: Australia, Chile