It’s amazing what you come across on the internet. Pontus Jansson and his cairns are our latest obsession. It’s a combination of balance and peace in a chaotic world. You can find a lot of rock stacks along trails, on beaches, and around the world. They can be beautiful and simple, or complex and amazing. You will find tons of images online of these beautiful structures.
That is what captivated us regarding Swedish artist, Pontus Jansson. He spends his time filling Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube with his creations. But for those who are scratching their heads, let’s take a closer look at what cairns are.
What is Cairn Building?
“Cairn” comes from the Gaelic term meaning “heaps of stones.” When you search for the word cairn on Google you can find a lot of meanings in different languages. In Hawaii, cairns are referred to as “ahu.” They’re referred to as “Wa-wa-na-quas-sick” (place of many good stones) by Native Americans. No matter what you call them, cairns are beautiful to look at.
Where can you find them?
Cairns can be found throughout history in countries such as Scotland, Canada, Hawaii, New England, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Tibet, French Alps, Iceland, Norway, and Ireland. Of course, these are just a limited number of where you can find rock stacks.
What They Stood For
The most common purpose of cairns is to guide hikers. They can find these rock stacks along the trails, as well as mountain tops. Native Americans have also been known to use cairns as a way to mark fresh water, food sources, and even battle sites. Often times throughout history you would see cairns being used to mark mass burial sites. If you’ve seen the television series, Outlander, you will see a cairn. It is used to mark the battle of Culloden.
Wherever you see them, it makes you wonder who put them there.
Pontus Jansson’s Amazing Cairns
On the Baltic island of Öland in Sweden, you will find the artist Pontus Jansson. He creates beautiful rock sculptures that have taken the internet by storm. He can spend minutes creating pieces, such as this one.
Jansson can also spend more than 5 hours on a piece that defies gravity. This piece was built multiple times and fell down just as many while trying to capture a shot.
If you want to escape your troubles for a minute or two, Jansson can help you do that. He captures those fleeting moments of serenity and peace with his images and videos. Any one of them is sure to capture your imagination to create your own rock stacks.
Artist or Zen Master?
When Pontus Jansson was younger – before his rock stacking days – he enjoyed being a street artist. He found that he enjoyed creating art just for the simple purpose of creating. “I look up to artists who do it out of love and not money and fame. Street art and the graffiti are full of talented people who are anonymous, it’s something real about that,” Jansson said in an interview.
After seeing several photos online, he was inspired to created rock stacks. When he creates his cairns, he forgets about everything else and just escapes. We are so glad he has created them because it gives us something beautiful to look at. There are those, however, that think he glues the rocks together. Of course, if you watch videos, you will see that is untrue.
Just watching one of the many videos, you can see Jansson slip into a state of calm as he’s building. He makes it look easy. In order to stack rocks, you have to have patience. Something not a lot of us have. Jansson seems to have it in spades.
Rock Stacking for Peace of Mind
Rock stacking is amazing when you think about it. Rocks stacked precariously on top of each other. Sure, they might fall over, but once they stick it’s beautiful. Pontus Jansson is definitely a master of zen when it comes to creating rock stacks. From small ones to intricate ones, the details give us a peace of mind. Maybe everyone should try rock stacking. Could it help you relieve stress?