boulders

They started their journey about 150.000 years ago in Scandinavia and travelled towards the south: the boulders. Europe was in the middle of the glacial age and the nothern part of the world was covered with ice. This ice-field, this huge glacier, pushed the stones towards the south. It took them 1000 years to arrive and they finally ended up in places as the nothern part of Germany and The Netherlands.glacier-karinvanommeren

                                                                                 the end of a glacier

boulder-karinvanommeren

                                                  a stranded boulder on its way from Norway to the south

They look like fragments of a rock, stones with different colors and sizes. But that is only on the surface. If you have the opportunity to look inside a boulder you will find the most beautiful colors and types of granite. Every boulder shows a different color and a different composition. That is why you want to know where they came from…in which part of the world they had their origin. And you’ll travel back in time.

Last month I was in Neustadt-Holstein, a beautiful town situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea. There they call them “Findlingen” and you can find them everywhere; in the walls of the houses, in the streets or just as a sign. Every 3 years an international sculpture triennale has been organized and some artists are invited to create a sculpture out of these boulders. My sculpture “The Core” will be placed in Pelzerhaken (Neustadt)

boulder-sculpture-core-karinvanommeren

                                                                   “The Core”     sculpture for Pelzerhaken

granite-sculpture-karin-van-          ommeren

 

Over the course of ten years an international sculpture trail has been created in Maine, USA. This trail is situated all along the coastline and consists of 34 monumental, granite sculptures. Two years ago the idea was born in Canada to continue this trial of sculptures along the East coast of Canada.sculpture-saint-john

As I could participate in “Sculpture Saint John” I was pleased to make a sculpture for St. Andrews, a beautiful town in New Brunswick at the Passamaquoddy Bay.

The granite comes from the local “Hampstead Quarry”, a quarry of gray-pink granite. The quarry was last worked in the 1990s.karinvanommeren-stone-saintandrews“The story of the stone”  granite. 280x190x80 cm.   (the picture was taken on the workplace)

Stone is the earth on which we walk,

it gives us life and it carries our history.

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.

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