AN OPEN air amphitheatre has been built on Portland – and there’s already lots of interest in the project.

The art installation consists of a stone circle, built with the movements of the earth around the sun in mind.

While it is now in place at Tout Quarry, there is work still to be done on improving access to the site and its official opening will be on June 21.

Hannah Sofaer, creative director for Portland Sculpture and Quarry Trust, and the artist behind the project, said there has been a ‘really brilliant’ response from across the isle and beyond.

The large stones have been sourced from quarries across Portland, and represent the island’s cultural and geological heritage. 

Hannah said: “You have to spend time looking at them, there are some with oyster beds, some with really beautiful ammonites.

“The way they’ve been placed is all about alignment. 

“They work with the winter and summer solstices, and the autumn and spring equinox.

“The South Stone looks towards St George’s Church, with a line passing directly through St Andrew’s Church in Southwell.”

Another stone is positioned to face towards South America – with nothing but the Atlantic Ocean in between.

Hannah paid tribute to Ralph Stone and Lewis Paisley, who put the stones in place, as well as students at IPACA who have already visited the site.

In April it is hoped that a dance performance will be held in the middle of the stone circle, which doubles as an amphitheatre.

Hannah added: “There is work still to be done on tidying up the access, putting down aggregate and tarmac, but we hope to have this done by Easter.”

The site is a Dorset Wildlife Trust nature reserve and the charity worked with Hannah and architect Richard Hyams on the project.

The project was funded by a grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Borough councillor Ray Nowak is a trustee of the Memory Stones project.

He said: “This has been three years in the making. 

“It looks great and has created much interest. 
“Hannah has worked hard at getting all this to happen, so all credit to her. 

“I’m happy to have played a small part as a trustee to help.”