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Sculptures in Turkey's Cappadocia visible from space

ISTANBUL - Daily news with wires | 5/31/2010 12:00:00 AM |

As part of his intercontinental art project, 'Rhythms of Life,' famous Australian sculptor Andrew Rogers' exhibition, 'Time and Space,' opened in Cappadocia over the weekend. The sculptures at the exhibition, created using 11,000 tons of stones and visible from 450 meters above the earth, were completed over three years with the help of 230 people

Bringing new meaning to the art of building monuments, an Australian sculptor opened a new park in Cappadocia on the weekend containing stone sculptures so large they are visible from space.

“Time and Space,” the Turkish leg of Andrew Rogers’ larger “Rhythms of Life” art project, which includes works on five different continents, is the first such contemporary land art park in the world of its magnitude.

His park in Cappadocia’s town of Göreme comprises 10 structures with more than 10,500 tons of stone and walls extending nearly seven kilometers.

The exhibition opened at Sculpture Park (Heykel Park) in Cappadocia with a weekend concert by the Borusan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rogers, who is known as the “man who whispers to the universe with stones,” began forming Sculpture Park with works that that include “A Day on Earth” and “Time and Space” in 2007.

Using 11,000 tons of stones for his nine-meter high sculptures, Rogers completed the park in three years with the help of 230 people. The park covers an area of seven kilometers and can be seen from a height 450 kilometers.

In the opening ceremony, the deputy undersecretary of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Özgür Özarslan, said it was very important for Turkish culture and art that the huge sculptures were made in the region.

“I believe that these magnificent works will establish a bridge between the past and the future,” he said.

Australian Ambassador to Ankara Peter Doyle said the sculptures would also be a tool for the development of Turkish-Australian relations.

Rogers said all of his sculptures were a monument of “Time and Space” that expressed the common values of human beings. He said he first visited Cappadocia 27 years ago and chose the region because he was struck by its natural and historical beauty.

“I attach a lot of importance to natural and historical tissue in places where I work. This is why I pay attention to reflecting the features of the region. Stones that I use in my sculptures are convenient for the fabric of the area. This is a very important factor,” he said.

“Technology has developed in the world and caused people to get away from nature. But there is life in our land and we should protect it for future generations. Concentration is very important in this work. Since we worked with the people of the region, these sculptures have increased in value because they are a bridge between their past and the future,” said Rogers.

Following the opening speeches, Göreme Mayor Nuri Cıngıl presented a plaque of gratitude to Rogers.

[HH] World’s largest example of contemporary land art

Rogers is the creator of the world’s largest examples of contemporary land art. The “Rhythms of Life” project was begun in 1998 and now comprises 40 massive stone structures across 12 countries on five continents and has involved over 5,000 people.

Some stone structures cover as much as 40,000 square meters. As well as Cappadocia, they are situated in Israel, Chile, Sri Lanka, Australia, China, Iceland, India, Nepal, Slovakia and the United States.

The “Rhythms of Life” sculptures are optimistic metaphors for the eternal cycle of life and regeneration, expressive and suggestive of human striving and introspection. The sculptures embrace a wide cultural vision that links memory and various symbols derived from ancient rock carvings, paintings and legends in each region.

They also punctuate time and extend history into the distant future while delving into the depths of our heritage in pursuit of the spiritual.

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