Extraction (2016)

Stone circle removal screengrab

The removal of the Sighthill stone circle, not long after the equinox, was an emotional event and a good deal of care was taken to do it properly after some initial mis-steps by the Council who had at first suggested it was to simply be destroyed. A public campaign followed led by Linda and Duncan Lunan with high profile help from lead singer of the band Mogwai Stuart Braithwaite whose father worked with Duncan on the circle project in the 1970s. The council relented and plans changed, with the stones to be carefully removed and then buried for storage, ready for erection in the new Sighthill. To reflect the fact that ashes had been scattered of loved ones within the circle, the topsoil was first removed again to be retained and laid in the new version of the circle in the future. An archaeological watching brief was even maintained at the stone circle as topsoil stripping and stone removal happened. This belts and braces approach showed a level of care and concern consistent with the best examples of renewal. On 7th April 2016, surrounded by orange fencing and a select invited group, a crane driver methodically plucked the standing stones from their pre-smashed concrete foundations, tooth extractions from the mouth of a giant, a symbolic demolition, a performance enacted by a machine driver with the sole aim of the reassurance of renewal. This appears to have been a success. As the stones were put into hibernation, so workers got to work, and started to radically change Sighthill once again.