About Us

Shark Bay, Western Australia–We traveled nearly 19,000 miles to photograph the living colonies at Hamlin Pool.

Questions People Frequently Ask Us

What made you want to document the world’s oldest rock and mineral sites?

No one event inspired this work. Instead, the project had several sources. One source was the blizzard of global media and information that arose at the turn of the 21st century. This provoked the question: What was authentic experience in our lives anymore? Also, as more open land disappeared in the face of urban development, it seemed the idea of “nature” was becoming increasingly abstract.

We wondered what Earth might have been like before humanity arose. If we could travel to places that echoed that early time, devoid of human voices, what would we experience? It was then that we conceived of the project to journey to the world’s oldest sites. The sites have been studied scientifically, but our goal was to see them as artists. We wanted to arrive with few preconceptions, simply to listen. We had no idea what was waiting for us, or that we would travel so far, or that eventually we would found a company based on our work.

How do you know where the oldest sites are?

We talked with geologists, who gave us a list of the oldest sites that have been scientifically dated. The list included places in Western Australia, Canada, Greenland, South Africa, the United States, and Brazil. Other sites in Asia and Russia have also been identified. We started with the site of the oldest minerals on Earth, found at Mt. Narryer and Jack Hills in Western Australia.

Do you have a background in geology or photography?

At our photography show in Vevey, Switzerland, we were asked by one person, “Are you geologsts?” “No,” we answered, “although we’ve had a life-long interest in stones and Earth history. And we’ve interviewed geologists for the project.” “Are you photographers then?” “Not exactly,” we said. “We let the places more or less dictate when and how to take the photographs.”

At this point, our questioner’s face lit up in sudden understanding. “Ah, then you are artists!”

That moment affirmed our calling and our task. This journey has meant not only traveling to ancient places; it has meant blending two ways of knowing–scientific fact and artistic response–to convey the mystery of what we encountered.

On Akilia Island, Greenland

Lynn Martinelli

As a child, I explored the outdoors and imagined places far away from where I lived. Those ideas eventually became reality when I started traveling, studying, and working abroad, finally settling in Switzerland. In college, I chose to concentrate on art, writing, and languages, which now form the basis of my career in communications and technology. My paintings, inspired by early maps and cave art, were like a precursor of the Internet with their expansive paper scrolls etched with printed pixels and hand markings that resembled data in space.

Collaborative art has always been strong interest for me, since the surprising mix of voices often leads the project into unknown territory. Wild Stone Arts™ has been such a project. Countless local people and experts have contributed generously to this collaboration with each other and with Earth itself. The resulting blend of science and art, mineral and flesh, deep time and human time, universal scale and present moment has transformed my understanding and connection to “home.”

What began as a curious adventure simply visiting ancient rock sites has become a passion. Wild Stone Arts™ exists to offer an uncomplicated, first-hand experience of these sites in all their power and mystery.

At Hamlin Pool in Shark Bay, Western Australia

L. Sue Baugh

For many years, my day job has been working as an editor/writer in science, language arts, and social studies for major publishing companies. I have combined my love of science with a love of art and of exploring other cultures. This work has allowed me to step outside a strictly Western perspective and discover other ways of experiencing the world. For instance, what we call “wilderness” other people call “home.”

Nature has always been a transforming presence in my life. This project documenting the oldest rock and mineral sites has shown me that ancient knowledge can flow both ways. Scientists are learning a great deal about Earth from the oldest stones. But the planet also has a deep knowledge of us, cultivated over 3 billion years of evolution. If we, in turn, cultivate the ability to listen to what our “home” has to say, who knows how human beings and our cultures might change?