My latest sculpture was made in Angermuende during the Glaziale Brandenburg symposium. This area in Germany is well known fot its boulders and in the past some symposea were organized in this place. This year the sculptor Jorg Steinert brought this old tradition into a new light and organized a symposium in Angermuende. 

 

It is always a great challenge to open the boulder and create a sculpture of this beautiful stone. 

This time there was a snake inside. The sculpture can be seen in the city of Angermuende at the Franziskanerklooster until september 2022.

 

For the sixth time the Grupo Nuestros Parques organized this year an international sculpture symposium in Santiago, Chile. Several sculptors from all over the world were invited to create a sculpture out of the local stone. These sculptures found their places in the different parks of the organisation in Chile.

                                                          “FLOR” (flower)    165 cm high

 

visit my website: www.karinvanommeren.com

 

In Norway they say that a Troll is a creature that lives at night in the dark. You might see him when you walk in the forest at night where he lives hidden between the dark trees ,or when you sail at sea where he emerges from dark rocks.

Many things happen at night that don’t tolerate the light of day, but when a troll is caught by daylight , he is turned into a stone.                                                                                    Troll stone                                                                                                                       This summer I went to Norway as I was invited to make a sculpture for the Os granite symposium “Sculpture in Landscape”. And there I found one of these stones that are supposed to have a troll inside. And so I made a Troll egg to show that troll and stone are one. The troll becomes stone and the stone becomes troll again. 

At night the troll reveals itself slowly and claims its presence as a natural condition of the endless motion of nature.                                     The “Troll egg” is placed in Smoraasfjellet, Bergen, Norway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year I returned to Norway to participate in the summer exhibition in Gallery Elisabeth G.  

The gallery is situated on one of the islands in front of Osoyro, not far from Bergen. In the summer it opens its doors to show a very fine collection of graphics, paintings, glass and sculpture.

Every year people from different parts of Norway come to see the new collection.

I am very happy to be part of their collection this year. You can see my work in the gallery from the 15 th of june until the 5 th of august.

 

 

Last august I was working again in the triennial international sculpture event in Neustadt, Holstein in Germany.  I made a sculpture out of one of the beautiful boulders that can be found in the surroundings of the city.

Again I felt fascinated by these beautiful stones. From the outside they often seem ugly, but inside they hide the most beautiful types of stone. In my sculpture “Der Fluss” the stone shows this kind of beauty.

“Der Fluss” has been placed in the center of the city, close to the harbour.

Irish limestone 210 cm high

A beautiful new symposium was born this year in Baarlo, Limburg, in The Netherlands. It is quite unique that a symposium of such high quality can take place in The Netherlands. The country does not have a great tradition for stone sculpture. But the people of the town of Baarlo see it completely differently. As the town will celebrate its 800 years birthday in 2019 the idea to organise a symposium to bring 6 new sculptures into town was born.

the place where the sculpture are made

Six international sculptors were selected and the sculptures were chosen by the population of Baarlo. With great enthusiasm 170 volunteers helped to make the symposium into an even greater success.

visitors on the working place

Now we just have to wait until the summer of 2019 to see the sculptures installed in Baarlo.

 

 

 

 

Up north there is a town called Os. It is situated south of Bergen at the Bjørnefjorden in Norway. Here the daylight stays  all  night long and the water and the mountains are changing their colors from black to pink and from blue to white. The green winters, as they call these summers up there, are cold but beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

granite 125 cm high

 

 

 

I had the honor to be invited to the Os international sculpture symposium to make a sculpture in Os this year.

For many years the sculptor Arne Maeland together with the people of the Os Kulturutvikling Committee were able to bring sculptors from all over the world to work in Os and it has become a beautiful event that is cherished by the people of this town.

 

 

 

 

 

visitors to the workplace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few months ago I made a sculpture for a cemetery called Moscowa in Arnhem, The Netherlands.  It is made of new imperial red granite and is 225 cm high.

 
memorial-monument-karinvanommeren

When the sculpture was created the inner space arose. And as I was gazing through this inviting window, hoping to see the other side, it appeared to me that these two worlds could meet.

sculpture-red-granite

“Through the brilliance of any image , the distant past resounds with echoes”                                                                                                                                            G.Bachelard – “The poetics of space”

sculpture-moscowa

visit also my website: karinvanommeren.com

"You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands.  Take it reverently for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it"                                                                                     _Updike vlasenice-granite-scupture-knot Last month I was allowed to make a sculpture in Czech Republic.  Hidden beneath the beautiful scenery of a small village called Lhota-Vlasenice, you can find the granite. And as this place has all the aspects of a little paradise, they are making their own magical garden there with beautiful plants and sculptures to enjoy. knot-stone-sculpture

            visit my website: www.karinvanommeren.com

The-View-Adelaide-HillsOn one of the hills in the beautiful landscape of the Adelaide Hills region in Australia, there is a place called “The Cedars”. This year ten sculptors were invited by the Adelaide Hills International Sculpture Symposium (www.adelaidehillssculpture.com.au) to come to this place and carve a work of art for the Hills Sculpture Trail, which was an idea founded by a group of volunteers in 2011 and the sculptor Silvio Apponyi to “enrich the Hills with sculpture.

granite-sculptur-karinvanommeren-the-view

“The View 2”

My work “The View 2 ” is made in the australian “Black Hill black granite” . The sculpture is 260 cm high and can be twisted on its base. The sculpture was commissioned by the Klein Family Foundation to enrich the entrance of the Ngeringa Cultural Centre (www.Ngeringaculturalcentre.com) at Mt. Barker.–sculpture-karinvanommeren

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

ⓒChina-sculpture-kvoThe “Beijing Yi Dongyuan Sculpture Production Center” is located in the outskirts of Beijing – it is a large factory where sculptures are made in different materials like stone, bronze, steel and polyester. It is a bustling scene – sculptures meant for all parts of the world are being made there. ⓒBeijing-sculpture-kvoThe “stone” section is separated from the rest of the factory and situated in an open field.

One of my own sculptures is being made here – I went for a visit recently to see the progress and was quite impressed. My sculpture is being made out of the splendid “Shanxi Black Stone,” one of the most beautiful granites of China. ⓒkarin-van-ommeren-sculpture-chinaThat’s me in this last photo, next to my piece, in progress .You can also see another view of my sculpture in the photo above, on the right.

ⓒJimo-Qingdao-karin-van-ommeren

ⓒkarin-van-ommeren-jimo-city-chinaⓒqingdao-karin-van-ommerenPart of Jimo City, Qingdao, China

In China everywhere you go people are building houses and constucting new areas. They are constucting their future and at a quick rate.

The sculpture I made for Qingdao will be placed in a city that has yet to be built.

In the picture below, I stand next to my sculpture. In front of me there is the building-site while on the left side I can see the computer drawings on a large billboard, showing how this town will look like. A complete city with houses, theaters, sports facilities, hospitals and everything a city should have. In the sculpture park the trees are already planted.

It goes fast. In five years everything will be ready.

ⓒkarin-van-ommeren-china

Sculpture for Qingdao-Seoul Sculpture Park

ⓒkarin-van-ommeren-sculptors                                   Frede Troelsen, Winni Schaak, Karin van Ommeren en Jo Kley

The oldest “Way of the Cross”  (Calvary) in Germany is located In Lübeck, the famous Hanze city in the North of Germany; it’s been there since 1493. With a distance of 1650 meters the walk goes from the St. Jacobi Church to the Hill of Jerusalem.

This year four sculptors were invited to create abstract sculptures in the form of a stèle. At the same time three sculptures were created to commemorate the four clergymen from Lübeck that were killed by the fascists during the Second World War.

Eight sculptures were created on total, in Swedish granite and in steel.

I made two sculptures in granite:ⓒkarin-van-ommeren-sculptureSculpture for the “Way of the Cross,” placed on Gustav-Radbruck-Platz, Lübeck, Germany

ⓒkarin_van_ommeren-granite

Sculpture for the “Way of the Martyrs,” placed before the Lauerhof prison, Lübeck, Germany.

sculpture-symposium-il-faro-karin-van-ommeren

Every year the cultural organisation “Il Faro” organises a sculpture symposium in Reana del Rojale, near Udine. The place is situated in the north-east of Italy, a region that offers a big variety of beautiful stones. Artists from all over the world are invited to come and make a sculpture in one of the local stones .A very important event  for the region of Friuli and for the artists.

simposio-su-pietre-del-friuli-karin-van-ommeren

This year I  made a sculpture in Rosso Porfirico Verzegnis.

©karin-van-ommeren-ilario-bessi-beeldhouwer“Artisans working in Marble” historical photograph, Pietrasanta, by Ilario Bessi, from his book: “Il Marmo Ieri e Oggi.”

“Every block of stone has a statue inside”

That is what Michelangelo said. But how to get it out of that block? That has been a question for some time.

©karin-van-ommeren-sculptor

One way was to make a model and copy it into the stone. In the 17th century they worked with frames which were put on top and beneath the stone. From these frames one could find the perpendicular lines and measure the volume that had to be taken off.

Later on the craftsmen started using compasses. By putting some main points on the stone they are able to take very precise measures that help to carve the form in the stone.

Both methods are still used today, but new techniques showed up.

©karin-van-ommeren-stonesculpture

Now we live in a very different period. We have robots to carve the stone. Computer guided machines cut the shape out of the stone. A new approach which opens new possibilities. It could, for instance, be easier to make multiples in stone sculpture, which is usually only done in bronze sculpture. And another important fact is that these special computer programs also offer us a way to keep records of cultural, historically important monuments.

One can feel the form inside the stone, but our eyes aren’t good enough to see until the shape of the stone starts to guide the eyes.

I make my sculptures in Pietrasanta, Italy.

Visit my website: www.karinvanommeren.com

©karin-van-ommeren-sculptor-landscape

The landscape, the surroundings we live in, are sculpted by time, by the weather, by men who build their towns and villages. The landscape, its battered surface, changes as time goes by. It is a record of the past, and a testimony to the society we live in today, but its essence lingers. Some places carry their essence on every hill, grove, … stone.

I found this little village close to the Carrara quarries, between the Apuan Alps and the Mediterranean. It barely stands on top of the rock, while the rest of the mountain crumbles away, it reminded me of the song written by Paul McCartney and it inspired me to make the round sculpture, pictured below, which I sculpted out of pink granite.

©karin-van-ommeren-beeldhouwer-pietrasanta

My studio is in Pietrasanta, Italy, in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, a few miles from Carrara.

visit my website at  www.karinvanommeren.com


Granite was formed from the magma, the fluid mix of molten stones that is found beneath the surface of the earth. The magma cooled down slowly and as it was under constant pressure , it formed crystals from different types of minerals. Those minerals give the color to the stone and that is why we can find so many different colors of granite. The stone was formed deep beneath the earth’s crust thousands of years ago.

Its skin looks soft, its presence strong. Time is stilled.

In antiquity, according to Wikipedia, granite was used:

The Red Pyramid of Egypt (c.26th century BC), named for the light crimson hue of its exposed granite surfaces, is the third largest of Egyptian pyramids.  Pyramid, likely dating to the same era, was constructed of limestone and granite blocks. The Great Pyramid of Giza (c.2580 BC) contains a huge granite sarcophagus fashioned of “Red Aswan Granite.” The mostly ruined Black Pyramid dating from the reign of Amenemhat III once had a polished granite pyramidion or capstone, now on display in the main hall of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (see Dahshur). How the Egyptians worked the solid granite is still a matter of debate. Many large Hindu temples in southern India, particularly those built by the 11th century king Rajaraja Chola I, were made of granite. There is a large amount of granite in these structures. They are comparable to the Great Pyramid of Giza.

I use mostly granite to create my sculptures. It is one of the hardest stones to carve, but also one of the most beautiful stones to work with.

My studio is in Pietrasanta, Italy, in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, a few miles from Carrara.

visit my website at  www.karinvanommeren.com

Pietrasanta is a town on the coast of Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Lucca. It is situated in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, some kilometers from Carrara. The town has been called Italy’s “Little Athens” because, for centuries, artists from all over the world have come here to make their sculptures in stone or bronze. Since the 15th century Pietrasanta is famous for its connection with marble and it has a long tradition of excellent “artigiani” (craftsmen) for stone. It is also the home for a large number of high quality bronze founderies for art.

Today sculptors still come to Pietrasanta and rent a place in one of the  studios for a long or short period of time. Here the old tradition of stone sculpture by hammer and chisel can be found next to computer sent machinery that cuts the stone with high precision.

For me this town always has been very important for my work. The knowledge of the craftsmen, the excess of different types of stone and the tradition of stone sculpture in the daily life of the people of Pietrasanta has always been an inspiration.

Visit my website:     www.karinvanommeren.com

Two men splitting a block in the quarry. The diamond wire only came into use in 1978.
Hard work for tough people. Quarrying marble has been a way of life in Carrara and in the quarries of the Apuan Alps for centuries. Many died doing the work. Streets here have names like “Via dei Martiri del Lavoro” … the “Martyrs of Work Way… ” A complicated history.

The “Lizza”, the transport of the marble blocks  from the quarries in the mountains.

The photos are from the book “Il marmo….ieri e oggi”  (Marble… yesterday and today) by Ilario Bessi, published by Societa Editrice Apuana, it describes how the marble industry in and around Carrara has progressed over the years.

In the first century BC, Greek marble started to be replaced by the Apuan marbles. The seaside city of Luni was built, from where stone blocks were shipped to all parts of the ancient world.

Important monuments arose, like The Pantheon and The Trajan Forum. Michelangelo came to Carrara in 1518 to search for the blocks to create his sculptures.

In the last century Carrara marble was exported all over the world and used in an infinite number of  monuments.

The book shows the history of methods for quarrying, transporting and processing marble in the past through a series of beautiful pictures by Ilario Bessi, accompanied by a short and fascinating text by Alessandro Conti.

I, in my own way, continue in the old tradition … albeit with more modern tools. I make my art in my studio in Pietrasanta, the center for stone sculpture in Italy.

Visit my website:  KarinvanOmmeren.com

“What art offers is space, a certain breathing room for the spirit”
– Updike

I’m posting more of the sculptures that I made – inspired by the marble quarries of Carrara. I call these works “The Carrara Series.”

In this landscape, where the surface has been stripped off by centuries of human interaction, one can sense the powerful resilience of nature.

Here are two sculptures I made in this series, both in granite of course.

Carrara is located in the Apuan Alps and is where the world’s finest marble comes from. I use primarily granite – from all over the world – like Africa, America, India… and Brazil. I make my art in Pietrasanta, a short half-hour from the quarries.

Visit my website at KarinvanOmmeren.com

Hands always have to touch the stone. Its color and crystals contain a mystery and harmony I try to hold on to. The memory of an image materializes itself. Everything I knew has flown away; all but this image that looms up as a diaphanous truth. Hands touch the stone to see and like a piano tuner tunes its chords the stone resounds the form.

I  make my art in my studio in Pietrasanta, in the marble and sculpture center of Italy.

Visit my website at www.KarinvanOmmeren.com

The quarries of Carrara marble in Italy are a landscape where the presence of man dominates and through the ages this has changed nature in such a way that a new surreal landscape has been created. A scenery of planes and lines, of caves and caverns, where people have looked for the stone for centuries. Marble is a precious material that tells us about our own origin, about eternity and about ourselves.

This “destroyed” landscape was the source of a series of sculptures in granite I made, called “The Carrara Series.”

“Aruns who on the mountains of Luni (where grubs the Carrarese who dwells beneath),amid white marbles, had a cave for his abode, whence for looking at the stars and the sea his view was not cut off”
Dante     Inferno Canto XX

I share below some pictures of the sculptures I made for this series.
The Carrara marble quarries are in the Apuan Alps near Pietrasanta.

Visit my website at KarinvanOmmeren.com