23 -26 November 2008: At the invitation of Eric Snell on behalf of the International Artists Residencies program, Andy Goldsworthy and Tina Fiske visit Guernsey, Sark, Herm and Alderney with the intention that Goldsworthy chooses an Island for a possible project.
After spending a short time on Alderney, Goldsworthy makes a written proposal for a project for that particular island. Initial reaction on Alderney is lukewarm and the idea almost abandoned in favor of another island. It is revived by the enthusiasm of a group of islanders, in particular Dorothy Christmas who takes on the voluntary role of project coordinator on the Island.
Eric Snell and Joanna Littlejohns make the first of many trips to Alderney to encourage and co-ordinate local support for the project.
14 May 2009 Joanna Littlejohns and Eric Snell met with the Chief Executive of the States of Alderney, David Jeremiah.
5 -9 June 2009: Goldsworthy returns to Alderney and Guernsey to make public presentations outlining his proposal. He gives a talk at the Island Hall at Alderney on 6 June and at Beau Sejour, Guernsey on 8 June. Goldsworthy begins research into materials and possible locations.
10 June-3 July 2009: Mark Jacobs and Sam Clayton design and construct a former in which each stone will be compacted. The former will need to be robust and easy to dismantle.
6-9 July 2009: Stone test at Goldsworthy's studio in Scotland. This is necessary in order to assess the feasibility of making the stones out of compacted soil. After one collapse, and a change to a soil with more clay content, the test succeeds. The former is shipped to Alderney.
16-23 September 2009: Goldsworthy and Clayton make a test stone on Alderney to determine the suitability of Alderney soil.
Clay/soil from Trois Vaux is used. Work takes place at Essex Farm, headquarters
of Alderney Wildlife Trust, who provide advice and practical support throughout
The stone is only partially successful. A large crack appears down its middle after the former is removed. Goldsworthy attempts to make a repair but realises that the structural integrity of the stone has been compromised. A ratchet strap is placed around the stone to give support (a technique that was to be used during subsequent constructions).
The stone is left to dry and will be put outside the following year to give an indication how quickly the stones will erode,
Goldsworthy and Clayton go to Guernsey to research locations for a related Sandstones project to coincide with the Art in Islands conference to be held in June 2010.
Nov 14- 21 2009: Clayton and Jacobs go to Alderney to dig clay/soil and carry out research. Weather conditions make machine access too difficult to dig material from Trois Vaux. Soil is excavated from a location near to Brick Fields instead. This proves to be a better soil to use.
A stone is made containing rope/hawser. Whilst still in the former the stone is moved into one of the vaulted chambers at Fort Albert. Once inside the chamber the former is removed. A partial collapse occurred a few days later.
Blackberries are collected by school children and cub scouts on Alderney. Acorns are collected on Guernsey - unfortunately these proved unusable as many have rotted by the time the boulder is ready to be made.
20 March - 10 April 2010: Clayton and Jacobs arrive one week before Goldsworthy to collect soil, set up the workplace and construct a shelter to protect stones during construction. The wet and windy weather makes for difficult working conditions and impresses upon all concerned the need to provide secure shelter to enable the stones to dry out. The wet weather also causes problems in getting the right consistency of soil. Material for the first stone (poppies) is possibly too wet and, as consequence, collapses. A drier consistency of soil is used along with buttresses to support the boulder as it dries out. A small amount of cement is incorporated in the first few centimetres of each stone to provide additional support.
The collapsed poppy stone is taken apart (with some difficulty) and remade. The difficulty of breaking down of the stone is an indication of just how strong the stones will be when dry - being most vulnerable when first wet and 'uncured'.
The test stone is transported from Essex Farm to Fort Albert (the crack opening further whilst being moved) and placed outside to assess rate of erosion.
Another public presentation is given at Island Hall on 6 April.
Technical problems are resolved by the use of buttresses to support the stones as they dry out. Ten stones are completed and sealed up in the shelter so that they can dry out over winter in preparation for the installation the following year.
23-25 June 2010: Sandstones - Guernsey. The Alderney project had initially been scheduled to coincide with the Art and Islands conference held at Guernsey. Unable to meet this deadline Goldsworthy proposes a related one day event instead. Sand is compacted into boulders between tides. Working with a team from Guernsey College of Further Education, and with Clayton and Jacobs, the work was completed on time (contrary to one local press report at the time - see writings). The weather is perfect and the event of the stones being washed away is seen by a large crowd.
Exhibition of Alderney Stones drawings at Guernsey
5-23 April 2011: Goldsworthy, Clayton and Jacobs install the stones. The last stone is built on site in a bunker. The weather is dry and no real problems are encountered during their placement. The outdoor stones are wrapped in preparation for the inaugural walk on the 21 April. Fort Albert Stone is shot by someone with an air rifle - first change to occur.
Exhibition of Alderney Stones drawings at Alderney Museum.