The lady with the sparkly eyes has rocks in her pockets, and also in her handbag. You might think this would weigh her down, but it doesn’t. In fact she is buoyant, because she is talking about something she clearly loves, the Ellenbrook Rocks group. If you haven’t heard of this, maybe you’ve been living under a rock, because it is a passion that is sweeping through Perth. The Ellenbrook Rocks (WA) group, now has 1,799 members on its Facebook page, in just the few months its been active. This particular rolling stone shows no signs of slowing, so why do people love it?
Even puppers like this rock hound can get involved
Everyday Art Extraordinary People
Krista who runs the group, tells me she is not a born artist. I was never the creative one in the family. I never thought I had the patience or the time for anything arty, especially with four kids. I got involved with my daughter in another rock group and it just evolved. I soon decided to start one in my local community.
It’s a simple premise, one we can all relate to. I think everyone, as a small child, experienced the happiness in finding a special rock or treasure themselves. Those stones with a special shape, that glinted in the light, or the one with magical powers that you hid in your pencil case, or carried around in your trouser pockets, Didn’t we all do this once?
Budding artists sign up here
How to Rock
The steps to getting involved couldn’t be easier.
Find or buy a rock
Decorate said rock
Hide the rock in a park or outdoor public space
Seek out a hidden rock
Keep rock or rehide
When I asked Krista what the rules were she laughed. “The rules are… There are no rules,” (and if anyone knows where that quote comes from they get extra brownie points) but there are a few tips on the page on how to get the best out of your rock experience, In the end it relies a lot on random kindness and a sense of community, something we all could do with more of in our lives.
No shortage of ideas
There is no one type of person that gets involved. True, it does attract a lot of families, because it’s a way of getting out of the house and into the local area. You are off the screens and outside. It’s just a lovely way to connect with nature, Krista says “you tend to notice more when you are outside rock spotting, because you have to look closely at things, and because you often meet others doing the same thing, it’s a talking point”.
Seeing life from a different angle
Then there are the rocks themselves. I have been following this page and the sheer variety of ideas people come up with is staggering, from the glitter and paint smeared first artworks of toddlers, to the complex and painstaking mini masterpieces of megamums. Rocks are adorned with tattoos and paints, sharpies and stickers and everything in between. Many of them carry messages of hope, and inspiration, some just offer some unexpected laughter with your ‘taking the kids down the park experience’.
Spot the Rock
Set in stone
Krista nails it perfectly “It’s a little piece of art abandoned to the universe, you release it and you never know where its going to end up” Strangely they all seem to find their purpose, although I enjoy seeing the rocks that people create on Krista’s page, which are always beautiful and often surprising. It is for me the human stories that I find so touching here, how people find comfort and new hope after they losing a loved one, or a child finds new self esteem in a simple message written in stone.
The Stones Speak
Hunters and Collectors
The random nature of this activity means that rocks may pass through many hands, hidden, taken home on sleepovers, passed on, rehidden in a different area, perhaps many times until they find where and with whom they should stay forever and that is a powerful thing indeed.
So, what about the rock hunters? What does it bring into their lives? Kristy Kummur Kos regularly creates and hides rocks. She studied textiles and design before she had her three children and still sees creativity as an important aspect of her life and as a mum.
Kristy’s stunning art series
“Creativity to me is a reflection of yourself, its down time when life is a little stressful and a way of bringing community together. It reminds me of a simpler time in my life and brings back so many memories, not for only myself but for a lot of rocking parents. I am always inspired by how many of us get out there and enjoy seeing our kids find the rocks. I love the painting though, it gives me so much joy sharing a little bit of art with everyone”.
Ailysh and Bella’s beautiful creations
Ailysh and Bella are a mother and daughter team that love creating rocks together. There colourful creations draw from many areas of modern culture and you can see the love that’s poured into them as Ailysh says
“I feel like without creativity my life stops, creativity is oxygen for my soul” Bella is a prolific rock painter and her cute designs are always a massive hit.Bella’s favourite rock is Kawaii Cookie, she says because its Kawaii and its yummy!
Lachlans gorgeous designs made with love
Some people love to paint rocks, some people love to hide them, and others just long to find them. I think the most wonderful aspect is when you discover people like Lachlan, who at aged 12 is one of my favourite rock designers, not only because he is a talented artist, but because of what he tells me creativity means to him. You would have to have a heart of stone if it doesn’t touch you, just a little. So, I will leave the final word to him. “I like the challenge of creating the rock art, but I love seeing the kids (especially the younger ones) so happy while they are hunting and their expressions of joy when they find them.”