Eccentric explorers: Dr Geebers »Explorersweb
Often times people who seem outwardly weird are anything but. In the case of Dr Geebers, who left a trail of stone carvings while walking more than 10,000 km around Britain, it has simply been misunderstood. Geebers was an artist exploring his craft. At the same time, he was trying to figure out how to fit into the mold of the common society.
We first met Geebers (real name George Barnett) while sharing a story about a walk in Britain. While investigating the number of people who have traveled the UK coastline (barely 53), an unusual name has appeared on the shortlist. It turned out that Geebers had a pretty unique story.
Geebers first made headlines in 2011. It had taken him two years to roam the UK perimeter. He slept badly and walked alone. Along the way, he left a trace of 44 stone sculptures on the beaches.
Originally from Northern Ireland, the then 37-year-old saw himself as an artist trying to make a living. Society, on the other hand, saw it from a different perspective.
He had been homeless for seven years.
“A lot of homeless people in life have hit rock bottom, and the only way is up,” he wrote in an online journal which gave insight into his thoughts. “When I first came up with the idea of creating pebble sculptures, I knew I had a chance to change my life for the better. “
How it all began
He started his huge walk by chance after the police ordered him to leave his usual sleeping place. He documented parts of his trip in an online blog.
“Yes, I am Dr Geebers. A madman who has known difficult times. Still, I got out of the gutters of life by creating loose pebble sculptures on British beaches and rhymes of poetry. From being nobody with nothing to walking the UK coast 6,800 miles, creating over 40 beaches and moving over 2,000 tonnes of pebbles / boulders. While living outside without sponsorship or funding, ”said the homepage of his blog.
In Bexhill, East Sussex, he left a field of pebbles of balancing stones. Some of the intricately balanced towers were half a meter high with one rock sitting on top of the other. His sculptures sometimes seemed to defy gravity.
In a busy cafe, he left pebble towers between tables while patrons sipped coffee.
He left “crazy rocks in crazy little places” in Egerton Park. By publicly uploading clips of his work to his blog, he probably hoped that one day his sculptures would be appreciated.
They say one of the hardest parts of being homeless is being invisible to passers-by. Although people admired Geebers’ work, an exchange of words was rare. Although when words passed on the lips of strangers, they often left a lasting impact on Geebers.
The words of one of these supporters were the inspiration for his next project.
Brighton Beach Works
After completing his walk in Britain, Geebers turned his attention to Brighton Beach. “My inspiration was Mods and Rockers. We are approaching the 40th anniversary of this movement in Brighton and I wanted to do something musical, ”he said at the time.
Some of his most iconic sculptures included a guitar, piano, and seagulls. It was all created in a place that he said once brought him luck.
But his luck has not changed. Despite a growing reputation as The Pebble Man, who created joy and entertainment for passers-by, Geebers jumped from Brighton Pier, ending his life in 2015. He is survived by a daughter.
Most likely, his sculptures suffered similar fates, falling to rocky ground or succumbing to the tides. But imitators continue its legacy along the coasts of the world.
His pseudonym may be a coincidence, but the Urban Dictionary describes Geebers as “someone who is unknown to others, but feels obligated to act like a jerk.”
About the Author
After 22 years in the exercise industry, offset by long haul adventures around the world, Alex Myall found a better option a few years ago and has never looked back. She graduated in travel journalism, supported it with travel industry certificates, and then started Chasing Dreams Travel NZ, her own travel agency.
Now, she combines her love of writing and world travel with running her business from her home on the spectacular south coast of Wellington, New Zealand, while simultaneously being a mom to a beautiful baby girl. She maintains a “life is too short to do things halfway” attitude.