Ice arch
left to freeze overnight
before supporting pile of stones removed
(made in a field of cows - tense wait)
pissed on stone too frozen to come out
fourth attempt successful
other three arches collapsed or melted
Brough, Cumbria
1-2 December 1982

© Andy Goldsworthy
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Diary: [page not dated continued from 1st Dec]
In the afternoon went
back - down where
made arch out of ice - larger
arch - very beautiful - sun
hitting it - but only for
short while - made it in
shadow of wood.
Clear sky all day but
as I walked back clouds
appeared & wind got up -
a change in weather.
I seem to be having
such problems with this arch!

[Revists next day, new page in diary] 2nd Dec -
What a difference - yesterday
so cold - freezing.

Overnight - wind - overcast went to arch - early - still there!!
but melting quickly.
Lifted out supports - very
Very beautiful
- a melting
ice arch.

would have perhaps
preferred it not to have melted so much
-softened it somewhat.
However melting
made it easy
to remove stone

Visable from long distance - attracted someone from long way - good to show it.
Went back later to draw it - arrived just in time to see a very old man knock it down
with a gun - sad.


In the documentary 'Triangle' for Borders Television in 1983 AG said of this work:
'The ice arch was a marvellous piece of work. I had four goes at making it'

Later in the documentary he expanded on this by stating:

'I made a slate arch prior to the ice arch which was quite exciting. I made the arch [ice] over a pile of stones and left it overnight. It was a very tense night, it was in a field full of cows, I was looking out the window every half hour or so to see what the weather was doing in the morning I went out, and it was dripping like mad, and I pulled the stones away and it held. It was very beautiful.' [AG, Triangle, Border Television, 1983]

Related Images:


arches, frozen, ice


Work completed 1st December 1982.
Work revisited and recorded 2nd December 1982.


Swindale Beck, Brough, Cumbria, UK.


AGA: S/Bk_007, col. illus.
Rain (1985), col. illus., p. 25
Collaboration (1990), col. illus.
Time (2000), col. illus., p. 185 [different title]

Listed in Clive Adams, Hand to Earth (1990), p. 175, as no. 77, presented as 2 Cibachrome photographs in one frame.

Collections of Leeds City Art Gallery and Harrogate Art Gallery.


Colour 35mm slide;
Film: Kodachrome 64;
AGA location: S/C;
No. of images: 1/8 [Others: S/C; 82/Dec/C; P];
Archival Disk: 1982_006