Mystery StonesIf you were given or find a Mystery Stone, please let us know on Instagram, Facebook. Tag @brilliantstranger to have your photos shared on our page.
The Mysterystones project is a free arts project I started in the summer of 2014. It has been an exciting adventure. Over 2000 painted stones have traveled around the world, and some are documented with stories and photos. There’s some examples in the photos below.
If you find a Mysterystone I’d love to hear from you. If you are able to make it to the Door County shop, the Mysterystones project has entered a new phase. I have begun to paint stones with words on them, all as a playful experiment in intuition.
As many people know, intuition is an innate gift we all have, but many have been encouraged (or forced) to repress and deny theirs, sometimes from a very young age. Both Dale and I have found intuition to be one of the most important skills we use as artists. These new stones, which can be found in our Egg Harbor shop, are painted weekly, using intuition in their creation.
Visitors to the shop are encouraged to take a stone home, a free art gift from us to you. We only ask that when choosing your stone you don’t look at them, making a conscious decision based on visual qualities, but rather feel the stones, running your hands over them to exercise your own intuition in your process of choosing a free stone, and your word. We’ve found it to be a delightful process.
Use your intuition, enjoy the process… and enjoy the Mystery
If you would like to know more, read the story of the stones:
Several years ago I had a dream. In the dream I was led around a room by a man who placed his hand on my shoulder and calmly spoke to me. My best description of this figure is “Spock-like.” This character led me through what would best be described as a computer lab, with many people working at their screens. Suddenly the screens went blank. Everyone reacted differently, some pounded on their keyboards, some shook the screens, some sat back and stared. A few screens began to come back into focus, but not all. My “guide” told me this: “Those who know why they are doing what they doing will control the technology.” Then I woke up. What I took from that dream was the realization that mastering the tools may be a doorway, but mastering the art of self knowledge is the key.
So now I am using new technology and a raw material as old as they come to create the Mystery Stone project. My “why” is this: to share what to me is the most magical thing about being an artist – The MYSTERY. In the process of making art, things “become” what to me feels like what they are meant to become. We (artists) facilitate, we nurture, we work very hard and we may apply a great deal of effort. The way I see it, we don’t determine the outcome, but we can control the technology that leads to an art experience. And then it goes out into the world, and like our children, has a life of it’s own. It flows through us and we flow through it, and everyone who engages with it has their own experience. Those experiences are what I understand to be the path to self knowledge, an acceptance of what IS, rather than a need to keep or control what we WANT TO BE. So this project is my way of sharing that experience with hundreds, perhaps thousands of strangers and friends, friends and strangers. We can all watch the Stones “become” as the project unfolds over time.
“We should never turn away from what nature has to show us. ” Jana Levin
Back to the Stones. In a time when our tools change everyday, when there’s a new app, program, operating system and gadget born every hour I like thinking about the tools of antiquity. How stable and seemingly unchanging, a tool pounded from hard stone. A tool for communication, a slate tablet. A Rune. A Beti Stone. All these ignite my imagination, especially because they do change. Over time, in new and different settings, even a stone changes. There is nothing in life that doesn’t change. Permanence does not exist. So perhaps our fast changing world of phones and screens is no less “real” than a world of stone and steel?
“There is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known and loved it.” Albert Camus
Rather than debate WHAT IS REAL and WHICH IS BETTER, I feel better equipped and much happier to wonder, marvel and witness this changing world we live in. So I chose something so seemingly concrete, old, and stable to be the primary subject of a project based on the concept of impermanence and change. The main suggestion (I am not calling it a rule, because it is a choice) in the Mystery Stone Project is to release the stones back into the world. Anyone who is given or discovers a stone is asked to return it back into the world, into the flow where it can be found again and again and again. And we can all just see where it goes. And what it does, sees, and tells us, through all of our actions, our eyes, and our words.
The Mysterystones gallery is just a sampling of all the places they have traveled, from local diners and beaches to Johannesburg, India and Istanbul! One even found its way to Stonehenge, which was one of the highlights of the adventure.