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Stone Art Sculpture - Artwork to Be Discovered

By Denny Phillips

The art world consists of many diverse mediums. It can include anything from paintings and drawings, to modeled and carved works. Stone sculpture is another avenue of artwork to be discovered.

Stone sculpture is not just the piling of stones or rocks on top of one another into a meaningless shape. The stone works suggest a meaningful placement of the stones or rocks used. Typically the stones used are lovingly hand-picked by the artist for their best use in color, size and shape, brought together to form a complex structured artwork.

The stone sculptures are often representations of objects, people or animals. Typically the stones are not shaped or carved in any way, but used in their complete natural form. Used together, the stones create a suggestion of an image, object or life form.

Using stones and rocks to create art evokes the feeling of stability. Stones and rocks are solid objects that bring to mind strength and permanence. That is why many subjects of stone art sculpture deal with that theme.

The Inuit Inukshuk is a good example of stone sculpture art. Although the Inukshuk was used by the Inuit as a directional tool, it is still considered a beautiful art form. As a bit of background, the Inukshuk is made up of stones or rocks piled up and balanced one on top of another in the representation of a person. The Inukshuk was used to help hunters herd caribou and was also used to give directions to travelers in the harsh treeless Arctic landscape. Today the Inukshuk is considered a native art form representative of the Inuit culture and is still found dotting the northern Canadian landscape. The Inukshuk will also be used as the 2010 Olympic Winter Games symbol.

Although the Inukshuk is a well-known example of stone art sculpture, stone art works can be made into other art pieces. Common stone sculptures are made into crosses or Eskimo or animal shapes. The stone crosses are often used as mementos placed on loved ones gravesites, the stone giving the meaning of tying the loved one to the earth. The Eskimo or animal shapes suggest the culture in a native art form.

Often the artworks contain fossils and impressions found in the stones used, making them even more interesting. Impressions of shells or the outline of small animal bones add visual impact into the history of the stones used which is often incorporated into the theme of the piece. The fossilizations represent further proof of the 'permanent' aspect of the piece.

Stone art sculptures are beautiful symbols of structured art works. Stones or rocks united in the construction of an artwork are truly a unique artwork to be discovered.


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