Through Balance

By Oumoukalsoum Diagne

Nature has always played an important role in our lives from our earliest days we live in it , and we go back to it at the end of our lives. Our body, for example, is made up of 75% water, the oxygen we breathe comes from the trees and plants in nature all around us . However, our connection to it can also be seen in a spiritual way, in a healing mind way or many other approaches. Nature at its best, is at one with us. Artists may well appreciate creation more because of their knowledge of how to explore creativity and life by using what mother nature has given us. They remind us of the prominence of the human connection with nature. Artists such as Adrian Gray, Richard Long, Andy Goldsworthy, Bill Dan and Michael Grab have used their artworks to help us explore our environment. Here we take a small look the art of stone balancing and its place in the world of art. Read more in “Through Balance”. 

Richard Long; Geneva Circle One; 1987 Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva By M_Strasser

Richard Long is a Sculptor, actually one of the best-known British Land Artists, he uses the landscape as the main instrument of his work. Land Art is also known as Earth Art, because artists refuse to bring the urban life into their artworks, in fact their approach is more ecological. Richard Long’s art is typically made of earth, rock, mud, stone and other nature based materials. He made the relationship between man and nature at the heart of his artwork. One of his most important ensemble is entitled Red Slate Circle. This piece is the result of Long’s documentation about his journey in the USA which emphasis the beauty and the greatness of the earth. The piece looks like a solid circle composed of rocks that have a flat underside The Red Slate are from the border of Vermont and New York State in America.

Richard Long, River Avon Driftwood Circle (1996)
Voorlinden Museum, Wasseenaar by Ulla Smidt-Berner

Another approach would be that of Andy Goldsworthy whose main goal is to not alter nature itself but to work at one with it. He is also part of the British Land Artists, with some of their works being created to be shown in museums and others in situ amongst nature. One of Goldsworthy’s most relevant masterpieces named The Storm King Wall, can be seen while walking in Hudon’s Valley Park in New York City.

Andy Goldsworthy, The Storm King Wall by Samantha GoldsteinFlicker

The Storm King Wall is one of Goldsworthy’s well-known Opus, a former agricultural land turned into a sculpture park. Reflecting on his walls at Storm King, Goldsworthy has noted,

Trees, stone, people—these are the ingredients of the place and the work.

Goofy By Adrian Gray

In a similar genre but one working exclusively with the stones and rocks from our natural world is artist Adrian Gray. He was young when he started to explore the world of balancing rocks, which consists of manipulating the gravity of large stones in order to get charming balanced pieces of rocks, something that seems impossible.

He challenged the laws of nature by mastering the natural Art of stone balancing. He is part of a pioneering group of artists within the movement.

His adventure started 22 years ago, when his health started to decline, a situation that led him into the exploration of nature where he found out about the art of stone balancing.

Sloping Off By Adrian Gray

The Catalyst (work below)

Life’s imbalances impact our lives in a manner that sometimes we just don’t know what to do or where to go. The world outside of social media and new technologies can be a good refugee to heal ourselves, where we are out of any human interaction. He re-found himself by building sculptures from naturally weathered rocks and stones but he also healed himself. The question that comes often is, How does he do this art? He answered by saying

The act of balancing requires a steady hand, a still body, and total focus, and this process had a meditative quality that I found therapeutic. I had often struggled to stop the chatter in my head, but through stonebalancing, I found an effortless way to meditate. It forced me to block out the world and absorb myself in the process, ‘listening’ with my fingers, my focus targeted and complete. I found the stillness inside myself”.

Trust in nature by Adrian Gray

Adrian Gray, and his mesmerizing balanced stones, return to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the 7th time this year.

He returns to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show this year, with a tradestand to remind us of the power and importance of balance as we return to ‘business as usual’ following the pandemic

The Art of stone balancing teaches us the importance of having a balance, a sort of equilibrium between us and our environment. Discovering this art genre has been more than interesting.

However, If you would like to discover more about Through Balance click here

If you enjoyed reading this piece why not read Prestige in Wool, Flowing to sleep.

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