The challenge is always to use materials in a new and different way, and make them convey meaning and portray form in a manner that has not previously been seen.

Land Artist Andrew Rogers’s Monumental Works Defy Belief

The creative mastermind travels around the world building sculptures that measure over 600 feet across.

TEXT BY JANELLE ZARA   Posted July 13, 2017

At 34 feet tall and weighing in at seven tons, Unfurling Energy, the twisting bronze-and-steel sculpture artist Andrew Rogers unveiled at the energy-themed Expo 2017 that recently opened in Astana, Kazakhstan, is no small feat. Compared to many of his other works, however, it’s absolutely minuscule. For the past 16 years, the Melbourne-based sculptor has traveled to the extremes of all seven continents for his “Rhythms of Life” series: geoglyphs, or monumental works of stone, measuring upward of 650 feet across. Rogers plants his sculptures directly into “topographically interesting places,” he says, which have included the lowest point on Earth and the Great Wall of China’s western terminus in the Gobi Desert. Despite their monumental size, however, his works leave a very small footprint.

“Do you know the phrase ‘Many hands make light work’?” asks Rogers, who takes the adage quite literally. To minimize his impact on the environment, he employs members of local communities (so far 7,500 total) to manually pass each stone from point A to point B. Each of his projects takes the proverbial village—he consults with both local environmental and political authorities and community elders. He targets otherwise unusable land, and ensures that the men and women he employs are paid equally.

“The work only exists for a moment in time, but you have to be responsible,” Rogers says. “It would be arrogant of me to go in and impose my own values.” His Land Art, as well as the sculptures of studio practice, are an homage to the preservation of history, heritage, and most importantly, to the earth.

Rhythms of Life, Antarctica, 2010
Rogers’s work takes him to the far reaches of the globe, including the South Pole.

Sacred, 2008
“I look for sites of history and heritage,” says Rogers. This figure of a horse, installed on the hillside below the 900-year-old Spissky Castle in Slovakia, was made from scraps of travertine marble.

Circles, 2005
On the Altiplano of Bolivia, at an altitude of 14,300 feet, Rogers borrowed the spiritual symbols of the Pachamama people and designed a series of concentric circles spanning 328 feet.
Circles, 2005

The project employed more than 800 locals, and was blessed bu a Pachamama shaman before it began.

Sacred Fire, 2012
In the inhospitable climate of the Namib Desert, Rogers worked with the people of the Himba tribe.

Listen, 2012
“I like the work to create a vista,” says Rogers. In Cappadocia, Turkey, a carved stone
amphitheater serves as the viewing platform for the accompanying 52-foot-tall arch that
frames the landscape.

The Messenger, 2006
In the Gobi Desert, 1,000 soldiers form the Chinese Army assembled this geoglyph depicting a messenger on horseback that measures almost 500,000 square feet.

Andrew Rogers
Despite the sheer size of his land art, the majority of Rogers’s work takes place in the
foundry with a team of metalworkers, one of whom previously worked with the sculptor
Henry Moore. Rogers describes his sculptures as “figurative forms of the same philosophy
as the Land Art: It’s the individuals of society that make our world a place of justice
and compassion.”