Upala Yoga Stone Sculpture
The art and practice of stone balancing has been cultivated around the world for thousands of years. It’s known by names such as Land Art, Awareness Art, Petromancy and Earthworks. I call it Upala Yoga (Stone Yoga). Upala and Yoga are Sanskrit words; Upala means stone and Yoga means union. Upala Yoga is temporal, hours can be spent on a sculpture and a subtle vibration or light wind can take it down in an instant. It’s a meditative art that evokes a sense of amazement, focuses our attention in the moment, and challenges us to examine our attachment to the material world.
I began working with balanced stones in 1995. The seeming impossibility of it is what drew me in, and I’m still amazed when I slowly pull my hands away from a stone and it remains there defying gravity. As a child I was fascinated with magic tricks and illusions, and as I grew older my fascination with the implausible led me to explore martial arts, yoga and meditation. It’s these experiences I draw from and integrate into the art. While living in San Diego most of my stone balancing was done at Cardiff by the Sea along highway 101. In 2003 I moved with my family to Bellingham WA, occasionally constructing stone sculptures during excursions into the Mt. Baker area and along local hiking trails. In January of 2007 I was playing with my children and balancing stones at a city park, to my surprise an enthusiastic crowd formed. It was the warmth and strength of this response that’s led to installations and public works.