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Stone stackers defy gravity at European championships

Expertly balancing one rock on top of another at the European Stone Stacking Championships, competitors combine skill and artistic creativity to come up with gravity-defying constructions.

© Andy Buchanan A whimsical entry from the 2019 European Stone Stacking Championships 2019 in Dunbar, Scotland

From AFP

Expertly balancing one rock on top of another at the European Stone Stacking Championships, competitors combine skill and artistic creativity to come up with gravity-defying constructions.

© Andy Buchanan One category judged entries on how many stones could be balanced in 30 minutes; another for artistic merit

Now in its third year, the event takes place in the Scottish coastal town of Dunbar, east of the capital Edinburgh.

Saturday's competition down on the Eye Cave Beach was all about quantity: the most stones balanced vertically in 30 minutes.

Sunday's battle put the emphasis on artistic merit: creating anything from stones or found objects within three hours.

The winner receives a trip to the Llano Earth Art Festival in Texas where the 2020 World Rock Stacking Championships will be held.

"Stone stacking is one of the most ancient art forms. It may go back to the beginning of mankind," organiser James Craig Page told AFP.

"However, it was brought to the attention of the public over the last 15 years by Bill Dan from California and more recently Michael Grab," two of the best-known artists.

© Andy Buchanan Competitors could use found objects as well as stones for their creations

"Events like Llano Earth Art Festival and its World Rock Stacking Championship, and the European Stone Stacking Championships, are helping to promote this ever-growing art form.

"The skills required to become an expert balancer artist are patience, focus, a love of nature and an unwillingness to be unhappy any more."

The abstract shapes produced by rocks eroded by the tides over the centuries means sculptures can be produced with impressive, seemingly gravity-defying angles.

© Andy Buchanan Some contributions almost seem to defy gravity

Stone stacking also requires concentration and forethought to pull off the most dazzling creations.

© Andy Buchanan The winner gets a trip to the Llano Earth Art Festival in Texas where the 2020 World Rock Balancing Championships will be held

France's "SP Ranza" was declared the overall winner, as well as winning the quantity category.

The winner in the artistic category was Marianne Winter, from the Netherlands, who came second overall.




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Kids Magazine: Stone stackers defy gravity at European championships
Stone stackers defy gravity at European championships
Expertly balancing one rock on top of another at the European Stone Stacking Championships, competitors combine skill and artistic creativity to come up with gravity-defying constructions.
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