karin-van-ommeren-breche-romaine                                                                                          “Brèche Romaine”

When you come into Saint-Béat, you can find the “Brèche Romaine”, an old quarry that dates back to the time of the Romans. The story tells that in this quarry the “Monolith of Lez” has been carved out. A column of almost 30 meters that was meant to become the Column of Trajan. But the column never arrived in Rome and probably stayed in Lez, the nearest town.

But if you take a close look at the quarry you still can find the traces.

©karin-van-ommeren-sculpture

My sculpture “The Monolith” , made of marble of Saint-Béat, is placed next to the “Brèche Romaine”

karin-van-ommeren-marbre-saint-beat                                                                                    the quarry of Rap

The village of Saint-Béat is situated in the south of France in a beautiful narrow valley of the Garonne and  is surrounded by mountains rich of  marble.  At the time of the Romans the place was well-known as “Passus-Lupi” (Passage of the wolfs) and famous for its quarries.The marble was used to built Roman towns as Lugdunum Convenarum, which is called Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges today.

karin-van-ommeren-saint-beat

                                                                                                            Saint-Béat
Later on the marble was used for many monuments and palaces. During Louis ⅪⅤ  it was used for the fountains and sculptures in Versailles.Today new quarries are used in Saint-Béat. The quarry of Rap ,in the mountain of Rie, is one of the biggest underground quarries . It is almost 40 kilometers long and divided into different floors.karin-van-ommeren

Since the year 2000 the “Association Marbre & Arts” (www.marbre-et-arts.fr) organizes a festival of sculpture and marble (“Festival de la sculpture et du marbre”) in Saint-Béat. During three weeks every summer the village becomes again “the city of marble” and the marble of Saint-Béat has again all the attention, for its history and as material for contemporary sculpture. And every year a monumental sculpture is placed permanently in town and this year I had the honour to make a sculpture for Saint-Béat.

international-sculpture-symposium-karin-van-ommeren

kinmen taiwan sculpture

The island Kinmen is situated close to the shores of China and is part of Taiwan. The name Kinmen (Quemoy) means “Golden Gate”. Because of its strategical position the island became important , was involved in many wars and became a military reserve.

In 1992 Kinmen was returned to the civilian government after which travel to and from it was allowed and tourists could visit the island. The old houses were restored in their old style, the Kinmen National Park was founded and the Kinmen Institute of Technology became the National Quemoy University.

This year, for the first time, an international sculpture symposium was organised at the Quemoy University. Nine sculptures were placed permanently on the campus of the university. Four of them, including my work, were made on the spot by the artists. On the pictures you can see me sculpting the stone.  The sculpture is made out of persian travertine; a beautiful stone.

beeldhouwsymposium-sculpturesymposiumred-travertine-karinvanommerenIn the photo here below you can see the final sculpture installed at the campus.

red travertin karinvanommeren

“The Gate”       persian travertine       2014      Kinmen      Taiwan

 

Visit my website:  www.karinvanommeren.com

wuhu-sculpture-parkWuhu-park

 Wuhu is an important inland city in China with a long history, great geographic location and a fast developing industry and commerce. The living standard and cultural and spiritual level are rising up, which breeds the actual need to develop the city’s public art section.

The planning and preparation of the Wuhu Sculpture Park were initiated in 2010. The China Sculpture Institute, The China Academy of Art and the Wuhu municipality worked together to create what they hope to be the best sculpture park of China and in the world in near future.  The park is rooted in the beautiful natural scenery of the God Mountain area and it reflects the city culture and city characteristics.

Wuhu-sculpture-park-wuhu

The creation of the park happens at the same time as the selection of the sculptures so that consequently the sculptures and the scenery fit well together. There is a great variety of sculptures. Works from older, well-known sculptors as well as from the younger generation can be seen while you walk in the park. And both contemporary, international artists as local Chinese artists are presented. In the last 3 years 145 sculptures were installed in the Wuhu Sculpture Exhibition, of which119 from Chinese artists and 25 from foreign artists.

Every day many visitors come to the park and it has become the favourite place for the local people to go for a walk. Some sculptures are inviting for children to touch and others may inspire you to philosophical contemplation. And this was also the aim of the organisation to improve the cultural and spiritual level of the local people by the integration of public art.   "Roots" black granite

“Roots” black granite

This year one of my sculptures was placed in the park and so I had the honour to take part of the history of this park. My sculpture “Roots” , 5 meters high and made of black granite was awarded with the Liu Kaiqu Award. The sculpture symbolizes our connection with the past, with the earth where life begins and with the history we carry inside.

liu-kaiqu-award-karin-van-ommeren

The most important award in Chinese sculpture these days, the “Liu Kaiqu Award;” it has been instituted to improve the quality of sculpture in public spaces and to stimulate the communication between Chinese and international art.

This year for the third time the Liu Kaiqu International Sculpture Exhibition is held in the Wuhu Sculpture Park in Wuhu city in east China’s Ahui Province, under the guidance of the China Sculpture Institute.  The  award is named after the Chinese sculptor Liu Kaiqu (1904-1993), founder of Chinese modern sculpture.

Last week I travelled to Wuhu and was so very happy to receive the Liu Kaiqu Excellent Award for my sculpture “Roots,” made in black Shanxi granite and with a total height of 5 meters. The sculpture is a stone that has roots; showing that all things and beings have roots. They connect us with the past, make what we are and give us life. So we worship the earth where life itself is born and the history we carry inside.

black-marble-karin-van-ommeren

These months four of my new sculptures are exhibited at the Etienne Gallery in Oisterwijk. (NL)

The works were made at the beginning of this year in my studio in Pietrasanta, Italy.

They are still part of the “Carrara Series” In my blogs from october untill november last year , you can see and read more about these series.

granite-kvo The planes  and lines, caves and caverns which can be found in the landscapes of the Carrara quarries in Tuskany, Italy, are still a source of inspiration for my sculptures.

Come and see the works!

http://www.etiennegallery.nl

visit my website: http://www.karinvanommeren.nl

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