Saturday, October 01, 2016

A Calming Stone,A Blank Canvas Happening at Turner Contemporary.

Blank Canvas organized a happening at Turner Contemporary last week, called A Calming Stone, as part of the closing day events for their exhibition.
We collected stones and pebbles from local beaches and arranged then in the gallery on one of the benches, over spilling to the floor.

The simple act of arranging them in size, colour and shape, turned an ordinary collection of random stones into something much more interesting and attractive.

Our plan was to invite visitors to select a stone, or rather let a stone select them, they could take their stone with them as they walked around the gallery and then return the stone to a sculpture on the floor, or select a stone and add it to the sculpture straight away.

We also encouraged visitors to think about why they chose their stone and if they wanted to, allow the stone to absorb any thoughts they wanted to leave behind.

We were returning all the stones and pebbles to the sea, and any thoughts left in the stones would be washed away in the sea.

Well a lot of visitors were interested in the event, talked about their choice of stones, love of collecting or memories of collecting from their childhood.

For some, the stones called to them straight away, others took their time. Visitors described things such as the texture of their stone,the patterns and suggested images they could see on the stone, the noise it made, what it reminded them of and qualities like love.

 Some took their stones away with them as they explored the gallery and became quite attached to them. There is something very tactile and soothing about holding a stone or a pebble.

Everyone however wanted to be part of what was a ritual in someways, and added their stone to the growing sculpture on the floor. We had envisaged a spiral but went with what the visitors co created.

After the event we collected all the stones and pebbles together and all took some of them with us to return them to the sea.

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