“I am a conduit giving shape in stone to the visions and dreams that assist us to remember our greater purpose and connection to the whole.” -Andreas Kunert
The images and masterpieces produced by the natural world on its own can be astounding. When human creativity interacts reverently with the rhythms, energies, and forces of nature, the possibilities become quite intriguing on another level.
An example is Andy Goldsworthy, the naturalist artist featured in the documentary, Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time. Working with the subtle energies of the natural world, he creates spectacular sculptures and designs out of organic materials, with the rhythm of time as co-artist. This video shows many examples of his brilliant work:
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In the documentary, it’s fascinating to watch his creations dissolve when the rhythms and forces of the natural world act upon them; they illustrate poignantly the cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. The fragile and transient nature of Goldsworthy’s creations are part of their beauty and truth. At one point in the film, he reflects:
“I haven’t simply made the piece to be destroyed by the sea. The work has been given to the sea as a gift. And the sea has taken the work and made more of it than I could have ever hoped for.”
Here is a trailer for the 2001 documentary:
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And here is Andy Goldsworthy’s website.
I read that Andy Goldsworthy is considered the grandfather of rock balancing. Over the weekend, I was blown away by a video of a younger artist named Michael Grab who is able to attune to the energies of stones and balance them in ways that seem impossible. Below is a link to a recent NPR story about his work, complete with photos and a four-minute video that you simply must view (all the way to the end!). Viewing the video draws you into the meditative energy of the stone balancing process. I was able to sense immediately the still-point in which he had all the stones balanced. There is something numinous about that moment.
Michael Grab link: A Very, Very, Very Delicate Balance
Click here for Michael Grab’s Gravity Glue website.
Watching videos like these convinces me that everyone possesses a certain kind of intelligence – perhaps even genius – waiting to be discovered and nurtured. Perhaps the path to discovery is revealed by what and who inspires us. We owe it to ourselves and to others to honor these gifts and not snuff them out.
“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.” -Jelaluddin Rumi
I also had the insight that when you truly connect with the heart of a place or a living thing, you experience the flow of its vital energy – its beauty and/or power. It feels like a sacred intersection where that which you are seeking is also seeking you, and you find each other. It is the place where you embrace – only to realize that you were never separate to begin with. This is where art originates – in one’s attempt to express the vital energy of a place or living thing so that others, too, may come to know it and perhaps gain some insight into our own nature and the energy that flows through us.
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