As one walks, runs, bikes, in-line skates or perambulates along the seawall here in Vancouver, BC, one can’t help but notice the rocks. Rocks and oceans naturally compliment each other. Sometimes rocks pile and tumble all over each other, sometimes humans interfere with the rocky oceanic landscape. Often, as is the case along the Pacific coast in this urban area, rocks are used to stabilize the shore, allowing the waves to brake safely, without undue erosion, especially at high tide.
Sometimes, however, a special & specialized artist might find more creative uses for those lazy rocks. This is John J. Shaver‘s mission. He makes those rocks work for a living. No longer shall they lay about in piles, he makes them balance on their toes just like any other itinerant performer.
For many people, these balanced stones resemble birds, any bird. I saw an owl as I was walking by this morning, Barry saw a puffin and John mentioned a vacationer to me, who saw penguins all over the place. Still hoping for a blue-footed booby … John himself doesn’t aim to construct bird sculptures, he simply delights in balancing the rocks, so that we, the observers, can enjoy our own similitudes. His art is very much in tune with our time in history. He neither brings nor takes away, only using material already present. The tide will either erase his balanced birds together with his footprints in the sand or randomly leave them balanced for another passing human to enjoy.
Sometimes a passing human might take the balanced birds with her, to virtually extend their lifespan into another medium. And into another vision.
Thank you, John, for a delightful experience!
Some rocks along the beach near the Inukshuk placed on the seawall (see OceanViews) are playful variations of inuksuit. Much simpler creations than John’s balanced rocks, but no less mesmerizing – if you like rocks and rock formations, the spaces, and angles between them, and the shadow patterns generated by early morning sunlight playing over the random and constructed arrangements.
Being in a tidal zone, organic matter often grows on these balanced or randomly scattered rocks. The variations and patterns, not to mention the crow food between the rocks, makes for a lively landscape.
I adore rocks along an ocean’s shore.