Bridget Polk, Rock stacker

This morning I wavered back and forth between going to the gym and doing cardio there, or taking advantage of one the last few good weather days, and go biking along the river. I’m glad that I took the river, because I might not have come along this:

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A 20 foot area of the beach had a collection of these rock stacks. I had passed someone farther up, that I first thought was collecting rocks from the banks of the river. I realized that she was in fact, stacking the rocks. I stopped and took several pictures with my iPhone, hoping the came out. I continued on my way, and if she was still there on my way back, I was going to talk to her.

She was still there, stacking rocks. I introduced myself and she told me her name was Bridget Polk.

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I talked to her about what she was doing, and why. It started about a month ago, though the idea had been around for a while. A friend had shown her an artist in Sausalito, who stacked rocks as a form of art. Her friend said she probably couldn’t do it, which Bridget took as a challenge to prove she could.

She walks along the river for exercise. Her reward, instead of pancakes, is to stack rocks after wards. The area of rocks I saw, she said she has stacked on Sunday, and was surprised to come back today (Tuesday) and see them still standing, and in fact, other people had come along and added to what she had done.

Bridget finds stacking the rocks fun and a good form of meditation for her. She also feels she has a knack for it, and I agreed, as the stacks she makes don’t look like she picks the easy way to stack them, often with the widest end standing high up in the air, balanced on the point. Her only tools are a sense of balance, and the rubber gloves, with metal tips inside so as to prevent being hurt if a rock falls. She found that out the hard way, when she thought a rock was balanced, turned and the rock fell on her finger.

Her work as drawn attention from people passing by, and several photographers have come and taken pictures of her and her work. When she’s come back later, and finds people looking at her work and talking bout it, she’s tempted to say “I did that!” but instead just listens to what they say, or watches as they add their own touches to the stacks.

At first the idea of other people contributing to what she did, seemed odd, and a fellow stacker (He focuses on driftwood) said that he doesn’t mind if others add to what he did, or knocks them down. Once she saw how people reacted to them, and how it inspired them to try themselves, to contribute rather then knock down, she understood why he would feel that way, and embraces the idea that once she is done, what happens to the stacks, happens.

If you live in New York, and want to try and see these, I found her working along the Greenway, between 125 and 115 street area.

Here are more pictures I took of her rock stacks.

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Here is a link to more pictures of her rockstacking.

Besides rocks, she works with balloons, and has also started working in wood. Which you can check out on her site.

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