“The real meditation is how you live your life.” Jon Kabat- Zinn
One of my new favorite artists that I have learned about in the last few years is Pontus Jansson, an artist from the island of Öland in Sweden.
Jansson is a multi-talented artist who has created a name for himself just by doing what he loves and sharing it with others. He is a rock balancing artist as well as an incredible photographer, and he has combined these two talents into an art form that is uniquely his own.
In the art of rock balancing, rocks are balanced on top of one another in various positions without the use of any sort of adhesive or supports to help maintain the structure’s balance. These stone structures, or any structure made out of stacked stones, are also known as cairns.
Pontus Jansson is one of the masters of this gravity defying art. Not only does Jansson create these beautiful balanced stone creations, he also creates videos to help teach and encourage others who want to try their hand at this art, as well as stunning photographs which are as awe inspiring as the stone creations themselves. He now has a huge fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans who follow him on his various forms of social media including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Thirty three year old Jansson has always had a creative spirit, spending time in his younger years as a graffiti and street artist. So when he saw his first rock tower about seven years ago he was so intrigued that be began the arduous process of learning to create his own. He was already into photography at the time, so creating the beautiful structures and photographing them went hand in hand.
When asked about his early efforts with rock balancing, Jansson said, “I started very simple at home with 1-2 rocks and I was hooked after my first success. I was thinking to myself , ‘that looks so cool, it looks like the stones are floating in air’”.
Jansson has defined his art as “An active, playful form of meditation that requires constant focus.” He admits that the art takes extreme patience and that he has spent up to 5 hours to perfectly balance a piece he is working on. However, he says he loves the process, partly because he so deeply appreciates nature and the stillness around him when he works. .He has said that when he creates his cairns, he forgets about everything else and just escapes. When watching one of his many videos, you can almost see Jansson slip into this calm state. And just viewing his videos and his photos seems to have the same calming effect on others who often comment about the zen quality of his work.
Sometimes, Pontus takes stones with him to a specific location. Other times, he uses what he finds at his chosen spot. Stones that resemble hearts or other shapes are seen in several creations and at times, it is up to the viewer to decide what the structure represents. As I looked through his portfolio, I saw some that reminded me of birds or butterflies or family other things that are significant to my own life.
When he has finished a piece, Pontus switches from sculptor mode to photographer, and creates his beautiful images utilizing other stunning elements of nature. His cairns are sometimes built on land, perhaps in a field of wildflowers or on a light dusting of snow. Other times, Jansson builds his cairns in water, and the photos are taken with a beautiful sunset or sunrise in the background. Or perhaps they are taken so that the reflection of the cairn in the water creates balance in the photo as much as Jansson’s delicate rock placement creates balance in the cairn.
Jansson’s desire to create his art is more of an inner urging rather than a desire for fame or fortune. However, so many people loved what he was doing that he has created a site to upload his photos where they are sold as wall art and other products.
It seems that Pontus has certainly found a very special balance in his own life. He is able to spend time appreciating the stillness and beauty of nature while utilizing two forms of art that he loves and at which he has incredible talent. And by sharing his creations with the rest of us, he helps us to find our own sense of inner balance as well.
“Life is short,” Pontus has said. “So, find something you love to do and forget society’s ideals of how you should live your life. Love what you do, you never know when it’s your last time doing it. ”
To learn more about Pontus Jansson and his work, visit these sites:
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pjrockbalance/
- Email or Paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To purchase Pontus Jansson Photographs: http://pontusjansson.com/
- Pontuss Jansson videos on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/PJ Rockbalance
- Pontuss Jansson on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pj.85/