Art of Balance

Art of Balance

Joel Baker, Sterling Gregory, James Craig Page, Manu Topic, Travis Williams,
Sat 05 May 2018   -  Sun 27 May 2018
11:00-18:00 (not open Mondays)

Press & reviews
_ Venue: Basement Gallery I

Exhibition Launch with live performance – Friday 4th May, start time 6pm.

Art of Balance – this exhibition will feature physical stone stacks, photography from internationally renowned land-artists, drawings and film – with live stacking from Sterling Gregory (USA), Manu Topic (France), Travis Williams (USA) and James Craig Page (Scotland). Traditional pebble mosaics by Joel Baker of Stoneman Mosaics will also be exhibited, “Inhale, Exhale.”

A quick search on Instagram of #stone balancing and you’ll catch the scope of the trend: a plethora of other-worldly and impossibly balanced towers of stones from stackers across the globe. In this new Summerhall associate exhibition – the first of its kind in Scotland – Dunbar resident and founder of the European Stone Stacking Championship James Craig Page brings together some of the world’s best in the art of stone stacking.

Cairn building has come a long way from the small towers we stacked as kids. An international community of land artists are finding mindfulness, meditation and patience in the art of finding the balance. At the will of the elements, these transient sculptures can remain standing for as long as days, or just minutes.

The first ever stone balance competition in Britain was held 3 years ago as part of the John Muir Birthday celebrations. John Muir’s legacy in conservation around the world is well known, perhaps more so than his hometown of Dunbar. Sharing his love of the outdoors and conserving our natural resources, the art of stone balancing provides a new and creative portal into Nature.

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir, Conservationist and former Dunbar resident

The European Stone Stacking Championships are held in celebration of Muir’s birthday 21st April and Earth Day on the 22nd April and take place in Dunbar, East Lothian on the 21st and 22nd April 2018. As we spend less time in nature, we care less for it. Studies have shown that “in one generation the proportion of children regularly playing in wild places in the UK has fallen from more than half to fewer than one in 10.” To fight the destruction of wild places, we must encourage a new generation of nature’s protectors to grow, and stone-stacking is one way to engage with the natural world.

“If children lose contact with nature they won’t fight for it.” – George Monbiot, 2012

Nature Balance workshops are an introduction to the art of stone balancing. It is both meditation and a doorway to exploring creativity in Nature. The word Nature, contains the words True and Art.

By truly immersing oneself in Nature, and bringing your consciousness into the presence of the moment, you can begin to create, works of art using stones, wood or found objects to create these amazing balance sculptures, using only gravity for glue. You will find a few minutes becomes a few hours and a timeless peace of mind accompanies this creative, mindful practice.

A free art form for children of all ages.

Stone balancing workshops for families will take place free of charge, 2-4pm, on 12 & 13,  19 & 20 May at Summerhall.

Please book your free tickets to the workshops here


Sterling Gregory

James Craig Page

Travis Williams

Manu Topic

Joel Baker