Life in the Balance

The mysterious appearance of two dozen precariously balanced rock sculptures in the Humber River over the weekend was revealed to be the work of an artist simply looking to clear his head on a Sunday afternoon.

According to the artist, Peter Riedel, the sculptures took about four hours to create from flat rock he found in a shallow part of the river.

“I come, I do my thing, and I leave. I don’t leave any signature so to speak,” he said. “It’s kind of fun that it is mystery for people, and not about me so much in my own mind.”

Riedel, a self-taught artist inspired by Scottish environmental sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy, said he is happy people enjoy his work, but he makes sculptures solely to clear his head and has not sought any attention over the past five summers he’s been making them.

The sculptures, roughly about one-metre tall, were still standing in the river Tuesday afternoon, although Riedel said some of the top rocks have already fallen off. The rocks are balancing on thin edges, with some large slabs remarkably holding steady on tiny stones. The sculptures usually remain intact for about three days before they get knocked over by wind or vibrations.

“Like so many things in life, the balance isn’t always up to us. We think things are perfect and balanced, but sometimes life has surprises for us too.”

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