Freeze defrenzies at Aspiring ConversatiONs

FREEZE in action. PHOTO: Alastair Bett,

FREEZE in action. PHOTO: Alastair Bett,

Freeze (verb) To find stillness.

Defrenzy (verb) To eliminate clutter, chatter, distraction and agitation. 

“Bring your own stone,” the programme said. We’re carrying rocks we collected from the beach at Mt Aspiring look-out that morning. It’s a crisp Central Otago day, the second day of the Aspiring Conversations festival of ideas, coined a “time for thinking”. We find seats on the tiers outside the Lake Wanaka Centre.  We are met by Rita, who stands in front of an oval shaped arrangement of stones on the decking overlooking Bullock Creek. “Nick asked me to tell you to please turn off your phones, completely. You don’t need them where we’re going.” We’re told to pick a rock, and follow her, in silence, to the lakeshore. We’re part of a journey, a ritual. We’ve been told to have no expectations, to forget what we may have read or heard about the show. Called FREEZE, it’s a one-man performance by Nick Steur and it’s a work that seems to stop time. To see this show is to be part of a series of moments of stillness, interconnected to form a cohesive whole; to be complicit in the building of an impermanent and pertinent collection of stone sculptures that seem to defy the laws of physics. Balanced on steel rods protruding from a large tree stump at the water’s edge, Steur masterfully stacked rocks in clusters of three or four, point to point, in mind-bending ways. His sculptures are built from stones selected by himself, the audience and the will of the collective.

Steur operates on a level that is alluring and mysterious. Initially it feels that he is a skilful rock balancing practitioner, a pseudo-conjurer, but it quickly becomes apparent that this is no gimmick, Steur is on the level. A level that is beyond our full comprehension. There is something intimately captivating about watching Steur work his unique gift. He appears to almost speak to the stones, asking them for subtle guidance, waiting, listening to their response as he manoeuvres them into position. The installation is built in time and place. When one arrangement falls, it wasn’t meant to be. Another will be built, patiently, in its place. One stand out moment was when Steur held out his hand for a patron to bring him a rock. The audience member stood rather quickly, and chose a rock swiftly. Steur remained calm and simply said “Choose the rock you really want”. The audience member took a step back and took their time over a new selection. Steur then smiled and used that rock to continue the magic. Another stand out point was when Steur balanced rocks on the leg of a man who seemed to sense Steur’s focus and energy. A simple glance; a nod, passed between them, to show each understood the other. Again, when it fell, a fresh form was made.

There’s an intense energy within the stillness and calm that this show captured. The sound of children at the nearby playground and the creek becoming Lake Wanaka were the backing track to the tranquil effect of Steur’s art. Like a mandala, the sculptures were dismantled when we departed. No photos were taken, as he hoped that “the moment should stay just between us”. Meditative and magnetic, FREEZE is a stirring reminder of the strength, complexity and impermanence of all things.

  • ONmagazine.
For ON-the-ball previews, promotion, advertising, interviews, reviews and photography for your cool happenings and concepts, contact

ONmag – FacebookTwitter & Instagram.



  • Like!! Great article post.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  • next articles referring to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

  • it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  • Awesome write-up. I am a normal visitor of your blog and appreciate you taking the time to maintain the nice site. I will be a regular visitor for a really long time.

  • Really informative blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  • Needed to write you the bit of observation so as to say thank you as before for these gorgeous secrets you’ve featured in this article. It has been so unbelievably generous of people like you to provide freely all many of us could possibly have distributed for an electronic book to help with making some money on their own, notably since you might have tried it if you decided. The inspiring ideas also worked to be the great way to be sure that other people have the same interest just like my very own to realize way more with regard to this problem. Certainly there are lots of more fun sessions in the future for those who examine your blog post.

  • Looking to download free games? To download the latest PC games and game mods? Of course you are! Welcome to FileHippo, dear gaming friend.

  • Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  • I do believe all of the ideas you’ve introduced for your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very short for beginners. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

  • What i don’t understood is actually how you’re no longer really much more well-liked than you may be right now. You are so intelligent. You recognize therefore considerably relating to this subject, made me for my part believe it from a lot of various angles. Its like men and women don’t seem to be involved except it¡¦s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your individual stuffs nice. Always care for it up!

  • Whats up very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds additionally…I am satisfied to find numerous helpful info here within the publish, we need work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.

  • paxil 15 mg colchicine online antabuse mobic tablets prozac buy azithromycin click here metformin 500 mg no prescription cheap zithromax furosemide

  • Howdy very nice blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds additionally¡KI’m satisfied to find a lot of helpful info here within the post, we’d like work out extra strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  • I don’t know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering problems with your site. It seems like some of the text in your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my browser because I’ve had this happen before. Appreciate it

  • Hello there. I found your website by means of Google whilst searching for a comparable topic, your site got here up. It seems great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

  • You might add a related video or a pic or two to grab readers excited about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it could make your posts a little livelier.

  • I would like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this website. I am hoping the same high-grade site post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings fast. Your write up is a great example of it.

  • A round of applause for your blog. Will read on…

  • Awesome blog article. Keep writing.

Leave a Reply

— required *

— required *