The Art of Rock Balancing

Gravity Glue, Michael Grab

Gravity Glue, Michael Grab

Sticking to the theme of landscape/environmental art here’s an amazing selection of ‘supernatural’ art sculptures by Michael Grab (suitably fitting the date).


Gravity Glue, Michael Grab


Gravity Glue, Michael Grab


Gravity Glue, Michael Grab

Gravity Glue, Michael Grab

Gravity Glue, Michael Grab

Grab considers his practice as a meditation which requires stillness and patience, he writes:

‘Through manipulation of gravitational threads, the ancient stones become a poetic dance of form and energy, birth and death, perfection and imperfection. They become a reflection of ourselves in a way; precariously sturdy, mysterious and fragile. The ephemeral nature of the balance often encourages contemplations of non-attachment, beauty, and even death. One of the most lovely experiences in practicing rock balance is the unspoken dialogue between the rocks, the surrounding environment and my own creative flow. It is a remarkably sensual experience to feel for balance points and realize them… The positive reactions from people and community often inspire me to continue balancing in public areas. The effect it has tends to be spiritual in nature. For most people, seeing rocks precariously balanced is completely out of the ordinary. The eyes will often argue with the mind over how such a structure can remain in equilibrium.’[i]

In his description below, Grab makes it sound so easy…

‘The most fundamental element of balancing in a physical sense is finding some kind of “tripod” for the rock to stand on. Every rock is covered in a variety of tiny to large indentations that can act as a tripod for the rock to stand upright, or in most orientations you can think of with other rocks. By paying close attention to the feeling of the rocks, you will start to feel even the smallest clicks as the notches of the rocks in contact are moving over one another. In the finer point balances, these clicks can be felt on a scale smaller than millimeters. Some point balances will give the illusion of weightlessness as the rocks look to be barely touching. Parallel to the physical element of finding tripods, the most fundamental non-physical element is harder to explain through words. In a nutshell, I am referring to meditation, or finding a zero point or silence within yourself. Some balances can apply significant pressure on your mind and your patience. The challenge is overcoming any doubt that may arise.’[ii]

Find out more about Michael Grab here.

[Other notable rock-balance artists include Bill Dan, a San Francisco based artists; Adrian Gray, a British artist & photographer, and the most notable artist in the field of environmental art – Andy Goldsworthy, whose rock-balancing is only a minor subset of his wider stone and land artworks.]



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