April, 2014. Elberta, Alabama. There’s Some Strange Sights in Lower Alabama

Posted on April 22, 2014

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photo (5)Those of you who would like to visit Stonehenge, but don’t want the hassle of traveling to England, can get the same experience – sort of – right here in Lower Alabama.

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Located in a stand of pines behind a marina is an exact, full-size replica of the prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England. The man responsible claims it is accurate in placement and detail, thanks to input from unidentified astronomers and historians.

It was created by designer-sculpture-entertainer Mark Cline. His company produces pieces for science museums, such as rocks, trees, dinosaurs and body parts, including a pair of stomach and heart crawl-throughs for a science museum in Kingston, NC. He also designs imaginative structures for amusement parks, municipalities and commercial businesses.

The Alabama effort, dubbed Bamahenge, was not Cline’s first go at a ‘henge production. An earlier piece, Foamhenge, was erected on April fool’s day, 2004, near his studio a few miles from Natural Bridge, Virginia, and quickly gained nation-wide media attention. It was, of course, constructed entirely of foam blocks.

ALELBladylake_prov3Cline has been called many names including a ‘nut job’, but he’s obviously anything but.

He’s had a relationship for years with the Alabama owner of Barber Motorsports in Birmingham, and Barber Marine on the Intracoastal Waterway in near Orange Beach.

Barber commissioned Cline to produce The Lady in the Lake, which floats in his public mphoto (3)arina,as well as Bamahenge, which sits on Barber property near the marina.

Additional works by Cline peek out from the surrounding trees – a collection of dinosaurs and a group of statues called The Knights of the Woods.

While Cline’s Bamahenge is perhaps a bit unusual, one must remember the Gulf Coast is  a magnet for imaginative artists and writers. If you stroll through area galleries you’ll see that people here have an appreciation and respect for just about any kind of honest artistic expression.

Cline has been quoted as saying, “I see myself as a kind of Walt Disney. I’m the P.T. Barnum of the modern age.”

Both men would probably love Mark Cline.

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Posted in: Travel - Alabama