Saturday, February 2, 2013

Viewing Stones Exhibition in California

Last night was the opening of the Suiseki exhibition at the Gualala Arts Center in California. The show was created by Anchor Bay resident Peter Mullins. While not strictly art objects 'veiwing stones', as they are called, are valued for their beauty and it takes skill to recognize potential pieces and display them to show them at their best.often the stone is cut (once only) to provide a flat base for it to be seen at its best angle.  Stones are presented in specially fitted wooden trays called daizas.

Mitch McFarland (on left) the editor and publisher of the local paper The Lighthouse Peddler talks with James Grieves the author of American Viewing Stones a beautiful book displaying many wonderful examples from his private collection. Several Classic Japanese pieces of his were in the show.

Here is one of them.

And another.

Quite a few people showed up for opening night and then attended the lectures.

By contrast , here is a Chinese viewing stone.

A natural 'Pool Stone"

Many viewing stones give the suggestion of a landscape , usually mountains or shore lines.

Michael Reilly an avid collector and seller of suiseki had many works in the exhibition.
He has won several competitions.

Here is a shoreline scene that appears in his catalogue

And another very tactile piece.

There were 24 tons of viewing stones on dis[play at the art gallery.

It would have been better if there weren't so many on display. Each stone seemed to be competing with every other stone for your attention.

The stones call out to you to be touched too. Much of their appeal is tactile. Maybe they should be called 'touching stones'. It would be interesting to have a show of suiseki for the blind. 

While this is mostly a blog about dry stone walling,I think there is an affinity we wallers have with many other stone disciplines. The viewing stones represent a small part of the whole attraction that stones have for me and probably what keeps a lot of us wallers constantly fascinated with our job.

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