Hefted to the Hill - Coppermines Chromaglyphs

Charlie Wells




location:The entrance to the Coppermines Valley, Coniston


directions : A short, steep, walk from Coniston Village Head towards the Coppermines Youth Hostel and the sculptures will be on the left as the valley flattens out.


Hefted to the Hill is a sequence of polychromatic Tag-Cairns located in a stream. Mother Nature's equivalent to Urban Graffiti.

Hefted is a term borrowed from sheep husbandry, used to describe a flock that has been bred with a kind of ‘homing instinct’ so that it doesn’t stray from a particular part of the hill. The practical reason for this is: no fences. Today, individual sheep are tagged with spray paint.

The Tag-Cairns face upstream as if returning to their source, the passage of the water implying movement. The sound of the beck wraps the structures in an acoustic envelope, an invisible extension of the work, lending it a voice.

Chroma means ‘colour’ or ‘hue’, glyph means ‘scratched from the stone’


With thanks to Rydal Estates