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This mesmerising rock art seems to defy gravity… but the opposite is true with ‘Gravity Glue’

7 min read

Good Stuff
This mesmerising rock art seems to defy gravity… but the opposite is true with ‘Gravity Glue’
Source: Instagram/GravityGlue

Artist Michael Grab creates contemplative vertical stone arrangements; involving patience, problem-solving, critical thinking, adaptation, slow-breathing, steady hands, and a host of other practiced skills… all bound together with “Gravity Glue”.

Patience, a steady hand, and a little glob of Gravity Glue

Artist Michael Grab began balancing rocks via “happy accident” in the Summer of 2008 while exploring Boulder Creek (Boulder, CO, USA). Since then, curious spark has spiraled into creative passion, way of life, and prolific international phenomenon/movement.

“I quickly noticed the therapeutic/transformative effects that balancing and working with nature had on myself and others; in an artistic sense, but also nurturing something uniquely human, inspiring a sense of magic and peace, luring awareness out of the mind and into the moment — ultimately cultivating a meditative presence.”

BrightVibes selected 21 examples to share, with the artist’s kind permission, but you can find many more stunning images and video on Grab’s website GravityGlue, and on Instagram and Facebook

Additional sources: DailyPioneer

“I decided to quit my regular job and pursue the practice full time in 2012, when I also started traveling internationally to practice and sometimes perform/teach at public and private events along the way,”
1. The practice got Grab interested, so much so that he decided to leave his job. “I decided to quit my regular job and pursue the practice full time in 2012, when I also started traveling internationally to practice and sometimes perform/teach at public and private events along the way,” Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
Initially, Grab didn’t think of becoming a full time artist, it was only out of curiosity that he decided to make these creations. It was not his intention to give out some message.
2. Grab has so far done this art in 25 countries, including all over Europe, parts of Asia, and Australia, as well as in North/Central America. Initially, Grab didn’t think of becoming a full time artist, it was only out of curiosity that he decided to make these creations. It was not his intention to give out some message. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
I did not foresee becoming a full time artist, with a message, nor having the ability to reach such a large audience, hence I did not intend much to begin with, other than following this newfound curiosity, which quickly grew into a full time passion. For me, it’s a literal message of balance, with Nature. I enjoy sharing the meditative quality and yoga of both the process and the subject.”
3. “I began practicing regularly for the therapeutic and artistic qualities I felt… I did not foresee becoming a full time artist, with a message, nor having the ability to reach such a large audience, hence I did not intend much to begin with, other than following this newfound curiosity, which quickly grew into a full time passion. For me, it’s a literal message of balance, with Nature. I enjoy sharing the meditative quality and yoga of both the process and the subject.” Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
The precariously balanced structures also serve as a symbol that “anything is possible”,”
4. “I hope to draw viewers’ attention into this kind of transcendental beauty I experience working in and with Nature… The precariously balanced structures also serve as a symbol that “anything is possible”,” Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
“So far, none of my work is permanent. But I’ve done my ephemeral stone balance work almost all around the globe,” he told the Daily Pioneer.
5. One may wonder if what Grab does is permanent. The answer is, obviously, no. “So far, none of my work is permanent. But I’ve done my ephemeral stone balance work almost all around the globe,” he told the Daily Pioneer. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
“I use whatever stones are available in the variety of locations I’ve been. But generally, I hope to find harder stones, because they work better for balancing. I also look for interesting shapes and colours, depending on what is indigenous to the location. In Boulder, I mostly use types of granite that are found here in the creek,” he told the Daily Pioneer.
6. Grab is not particularly fussy in terms of stones for his balancing work, but he prefers the harder stones as they work better. “I use whatever stones are available in the variety of locations I’ve been. But generally, I hope to find harder stones, because they work better for balancing. I also look for interesting shapes and colours, depending on what is indigenous to the location. In Boulder, I mostly use types of granite that are found here in the creek,” he told the Daily Pioneer. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
“There are many challenges associated with the practice. One of which is direct interaction/ integration with nature, which means I need to be aware of wildlife, wind, tides and anything else that can happen inside this system of Nature, and outside my control.”
7. Nothing comes easy and it is a difficult art to master. “There are many challenges associated with the practice. One of which is direct interaction/ integration with nature, which means I need to be aware of wildlife, wind, tides and anything else that can happen inside this system of Nature, and outside my control.” Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
But probably the biggest challenge is the focus that’s sometimes involved to create more technically advanced structures. “This focus is required to tune into tiny vibrations of the rocks, in order to adjust them correctly into a balanced position,”
8. “Conditions often force me to listen and adapt, which is an element I highly enjoy, despite the challenge at times.” But probably the biggest challenge is the focus that’s sometimes involved to create more technically advanced structures. “This focus is required to tune into tiny vibrations of the rocks, in order to adjust them correctly into a balanced position,” Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
“There are no tricks. It’s simply a matter of practice and patience.”
9. For those who are curious enough to know about the trick that Grab follows, there is none as such. “There are no tricks. It’s simply a matter of practice and patience.” Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
These points are found in the natural texture, or natural indentations in the surface of the rocks. When the contact edges are close together, it looks like a point.
10. Physically, the balance works like a camera tripod, where the mass of the rock is centered between three points. These points are found in the natural texture, or natural indentations in the surface of the rocks. When the contact edges are close together, it looks like a point. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
“I find the balance by feeling for tiny vibrations that travel through the rocks anytime they touch one another. When the balance is reached, I call it the zero point, when I intuitively feel that the rocks are balanced,” Grab explains.
11. Also the closer together the edges are, the more focus is required to achieve the balance. “I find the balance by feeling for tiny vibrations that travel through the rocks anytime they touch one another. When the balance is reached, I call it the zero point, when I intuitively feel that the rocks are balanced,” Grab explains. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
“It is a difficult to name a creation that comes close to my heart because most creations I attempt are right at the edge of my skill at the time. So most of them were the most challenging at the time they were created.”
12. Each creation, Grab says, has a unique feeling or experience associated with it. “It is a difficult to name a creation that comes close to my heart because most creations I attempt are right at the edge of my skill at the time. So most of them were the most challenging at the time they were created.” Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
which seem cumulative and also complement one another, past, present and future,” Grab, who has made thousands of such creations till date, told the Daily Pioneer.
13. “Each creation also has a unique feeling or experience associated with it… which seem cumulative and also complement one another, past, present and future,” Grab, who has made thousands of such creations till date, told the Daily Pioneer. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
“My inspiration comes from everything I experience, but more particularly, the beauty I see in rocks and nature, the challenge I experience in the process, and the way humans, for the most part, tend to enjoy and relate to the work,” he says.
14. His inspiration behind these creations, he says, comes from everything that he experiences in a day. “My inspiration comes from everything I experience, but more particularly, the beauty I see in rocks and nature, the challenge I experience in the process, and the way humans, for the most part, tend to enjoy and relate to the work,” he says. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
15. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
16. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
17. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
18. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
19. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
20. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
21. Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
‘Wildfire smoke has flooded the air a few times this month while I’m at the creek, so my #gasmask has become a worthy kit inclusion. I don’t normally need it, nor did I need it here, but the child inside was giddy, it’s Halloween in a few days, and I’m quite satisfied with this equation, finally. FTW’
Some context for the header image: ‘Wildfire smoke has flooded the air a few times this month while I’m at the creek, so my #gasmask has become a worthy kit inclusion. I don’t normally need it, nor did I need it here, but the child inside was giddy, it’s Halloween in a few days, and I’m quite satisfied with this equation, finally. FTW’ Source: Instagram/GravityGlue
Gravity Glue - Ep 2103 Stone Balance Demonstration ~ Gemini Style ~ by Michael Grab This timelapse was shot on a 3 second interval, over the course of 1 hour and 51 minutes | March 2021 - Ep 2103
Boulder, CO, USA Source: Facebook/GravityGlue
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