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Harry Matthews’s balanced stones




n the summer of 1998, after an extended journey through the Himalayas, I spent two months teaching in the Rhondda valleys of south Whales. My days off were spent with my good friend Simon Preston, exploring not only Whales, but the moors of Devon and Cornwall. We o f t e n found ourselves literally stumbling upon Neolithic sites-stone circles and burial chambers amid the beautiful countryside, the strange craggy outcroppings, windswept and silent. Upon my return to the states, I went to visit my parents in the Adirondacks. One day I was in the woods staring at a pile of stones and began to balance them one on top of the other until I was surrounded by a group of figures. The deep peace and meditativeness I felt transported me back to the same sense of subtle connectedness, of spirit, I had felt in the wilds of the UK, of the Himalayas. I spent the next week making them all over the property and surrounding mountains as they grew with my understanding of balance, of 64 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2009

Corscaden Barn, Keene Valley, NY


gravity. Since then I have made them all over the world, never thinking of them as “Art” until people continually referred to them as such. I make them deep in the woods as often as in plain sight. To me, they are very personal yet equally universal. They are only held together with their own weight, the pull of gravit y, and the balance I find between them. No glue, drilling, posts, carving, or manipulation to the stone of any kind is employed. Out of attachment and desire for their permanence, coupled with their tenuous nature, I am forced to practice non-attachment and, hopefully, better understand their impermanence. — HARRY MATTHEWS Harry continues to build his stones on trails and in rivers in the Adirondacks and, he built them for people as sculpture in their yards. The images on this page were created for an exhibition at the Corscaden Barn in Keene Valley, in the heart of New York’s Adirondack Mountain range. He currently lives in Woodstock, NY on a big piece of farm land with a plethora of rocks. You can find film clips on of his latest creations. e-mail the gallery

59 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2009

Harry Mathews  
Harry Mathews  

HARRY Harry Matthews’s balanced stones Corscaden Barn, Keene Valley, NY 64 • Fine Art Magazine • Spring 2009 PHOTOS BY MARTHA CORSCADEN 59 •...