Stonebalancing art at RHS Chelsea

International pioneer of stonebalancing art, Adrian Gray, will be exhibiting at the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show with some of his mind-bending sculptural art.

Over his 23 year career, Adrian has honed stonebalancing as an art form and grown a considerable international following. He has been commissioned by some of the world’s leading horticultural institutions – he has permanent installations at both RHS Rosemoor and RHS Wisley – and was featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs, when he was described by presenter Kevin McCloud as ‘the stone whisperer’.

In his latest work, ‘Bad Boy’, Adrian has achieved the most challenging monumental sculpture of his career to date. The work will be previewed at the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show and promises to be a show stopper.(pictured left: Adrian with the stone he will use at Chelsea).

Apart from the extraordinary weight of the huge Cornish granite rocks involved (coming in at over 6 tonnes each,) the height of its top stone makes it the highest ever man-made piece of balance art. Unlike Adrian’s smaller works which rely on intuition, hand control, focus and stillness, this gigantean sculpture had to be balanced using a 35-tonne crane, with the scale of the rocks magnifying even the slightest adjustment during the balancing process.

The inspiration for ‘Bad Boy’ was driven by Adrian’s initial discovery of the top stone, with its uncanny resemblance to a breaching whale. This whale-like silhouette is still visible from all aspects of the sculpture (from one side particularly,) with the surfaces which were open to the elements featuring nature’s lovely patina of lichen and moss.

Of his latest work, Adrian Gray said: “This is the most improbably tall piece of stonebalancing art that has ever been balanced. It is also SEVEN TONNES of Cornish Granite rock poised on a tiny point! In its size and form, ‘Bad Boy’ is a lesson in the forces of nature, in all its magnificent and undeniable stasis. It is also a lesson in the transformational power of balance. It is this force which has changed the nature of two, huge boulders from something immovable and static to a form of elegant, moving and unbelievable equipoise.”

Adrian’s monolithic pieces certainly make a statement and give a high visual impact to outside space. He has lots of clever ideas to make the first glimpse of a home special and you can imagine the initial sight of a puzzling stonebalancing sculpture in a driveway or within the garden.

We wish Adrian well as he prepares his Chelsea trade exhibition.