Artist Spotlight — Gravity Glue: The Stone Balance Meditations of Michael Grab

Land Art 2018 wall calendar

Land Art is composed primarily of the natural elements available at hand. Materials such as rocks, leaves, and water are the medium, and the terrain is the canvas.

The 2018 edition of the Land Art wall calendar presents the work of stone balance artist Michael Grab. His rock balancing is a meditative practice that flows with passion and patience. Achieving a challenging balance requires contemplation of both mental and physical elements in real time — the now. Encountering his creations inspires a sense of peace and magic — a feeling that anything is possible.

Working with contemplative patience amid the sound of flowing water, Michael Grab achieves impossible stone structures with gravity as his only “glue.” Although steady hands, slow breathing, patience, and problem solving are carefully honed skills essential to his craft, Michael’s work relies more on his ability to still his mind and tune in to the nature of the rocks and his surroundings. “There comes a point when the mind shuts off entirely, like in a deep meditative state.” Michael says. “In a very literal sense it feels like creating a state of union with the environment.”

For hours on end, his hands scour the surface of each rock, searching for the indentations that create natural tripods for the rock to stand upright. With each rock’s mass centered within its three points of contact, gravity and the counterbalancing effect of stacking rock upon heavy rock take over and give these striking creations a sense of weightlessness. Once balanced, the structures can be remarkably stable.

Michael’s first experience with the art of balancing rocks was in the summer of 2008, and since 2012 he has pursued the craft professionally, traveling extensively around the world and creating his pieces at various international festivals and events. Michael has a distinct lack of attachment to his sculptures. They embody the notion of impermanence central to Zen Buddhism, and he captures his otherwise ephemeral artwork in stunning photographs that he shares on his website.

A note about rock balancing: Michael does not recommend leaving rock balances in place. After photographing the final piece, he disassembles the structure. 


The WordPress.com Daily Post photo challenge theme today is “corner — the point where converging lines, edges, or sides meet.” Michael’s work is dedicated to finding the balance on the points and edges to create a temporary tribute to nature and living in the moment. 


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