San Francisco based artist Travis Ruskus makes rock balance sculptures that investigate the paradox of time, clarity, and individuality. Each of our lives is long and complex, yet each moment occurs so fast that we rarely remember to take a mindful breath and fully experience it.
The world is his studio and his creative process first requires traveling to scenic landscapes. Once a suitable destination is located, Travis does a brief meditation to experience and absorb the local environment. From there, local rocks are gathered (responsibly) and a temporary sculpture of these ancient rocks is balanced. The rock balance symbolizes the contrast between the power and fragility of the present moment.
Each balance is eventually knocked over to encourage the practice of release. This act becomes a tool to help with the inevitable release of life itself. Before the balances are destroyed, Travis captures a photograph that also focuses on a particular theme present in his life at that moment in time, such as HEALING, TRUST, etc.
Every theme present in a specific balance is also a universal theme throughout all balances he will ever create. This process sparks a contemplative dialogue around how everything is unique yet everything is connected.
The resulting photograph becomes a tool for the viewer to become aware of the present moment and the balance of energy that lives within everything.
Travis has taught thousands of people of all ages from all over the world how to balance a single stone in the most difficult way possible. The art of rock balancing has becomes a tool to embrace opportunity, face fear, and access the infinite potential that powers our universe.
His thesis is that clarity is possible. From there, the challenge becomes consistency. Mastery comes from having clarity at any moment. Whether in your private meditation space at home or during that important meeting, taking a few moments to breathe through the stress and chaos of daily life can be a powerful long-term practice for clarity.
Although the actual balances are a private and temporary experience, the images allow the viewer to participate in their own clarity by bringing their attention back to the present moment.
These balanced rock sculptures become a mirror to showcase the viewer’s internal dialogue during the moments they view the image. There is no glue or special effects keeping these balances upright. Travis uses only his bare hands to find the line between idea and reality. When he finds that line, everything balances into place.