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#423129 - 11/24/11 02:17 PM Sculptors build a new art and experiences
Marty Offline

A first of a kind symposium is taking place at the old CET compound. A group of international sculptors are teaming up with locals in the trade as well as with students for the month long event. Aside from the discussions on this particular form of art, the group is trying new techniques with new material. News Five’s Delahnie Bain was on hand as the sculptors chipped away.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Eight large boulders are being transformed into art by some of the world’s best sculptors, who are in Belize for a month long sculpting symposium. Canadian sculptor and project manager, Jock Hildebrand, says the international symposiums started back in 1957 and are held many different countries, but this is the first time they have brought it to Belize.

Jock Hildebrand, Project Manager, International Sculpture Symposium

Jock Hildebrand

“I have a small house that I built in Belize and I’ve been here for the last three years or so and I very fortunately met with Diane Haylock from NICH and we had a conversation and I suggested the possibility that this might be an interesting project for NICH to pick up. It’s about the exchange of ideas between the Belizean sculptors and the international sculptors and as a bi-product, there will be many beautiful sculptures left behind in Belize for you to enjoy, for your generation and your children’s generation, etcetera, etcetera.”

It will take a month of hard labour in the heat and dust to complete the pieces, but sculptors are excited about the opportunity to visit and work in the Jewel.

Florin Strejac, Sculptor from Romania

“It was a great experience because it’s my first time here in Central America. I’ve worked all over the world except for Australia, but this is my first time and I’m very, very happy to be here and to do work here for Belizean people.”

Colin Figue

Colin Figue, Sculptor from England

“With the locals, it’s been great. Everybody is just really fine; all very kind and helpful. I thought it would be very interesting, very interesting so I applied for this work. I wanted to come here.”

Without ruining the surprise of the big reveal, they gave us an idea of what they hope to create from the blocks of limestone.

Florin Strejac

“It’s one of my kinds of sculptor; metaphorically speaking when the wind is blowing it’s sometimes like a piece of sheet of paper—when the wind is blowing it can break it. So that’s happening with my stone, a giant stone that I want to bend it like a titanic force that—somehow I think about this hurricane in this part of the world so it’s a metaphoric symbol of this.”

Colin Figue

“I can’t well you too much at the moment because it’s taking shape and it’s a spontaneous work and I’m discovering the form. Each day I’m discovering what I can do. So I’m trying to find a simple form.”

Delahnie Bain

Florin Strejac

“Is that the way you usually do it?”

Colin Figue

“Very often I plan the piece beforehand but sometimes it’s not possible to realize the piece you plan so you have make some changes.”

During the symposium, nine Belizean artists have the privilege of working with these renowned professionals.

Curl Gordon

Curl Gordon, Belizean Sculptor

“I haven’t really worked stone before but I’ve seen a lot of different sculptures or ideas in stone just looking at some stones you can tell what shape or what you would do with it if I had the opportunity. But now that I’m getting the opportunity to really work with stone along with these guys, I think I’ll be furthering my opportunities or my ideas in doing what I’m doing presently with them.”

George Estrada, Belizean Sculptor

“It’s been my pleasure because I’m learning a different technique from wood in stone and I like it.”

Delahnie Bain

George Estrada

“So you usually work with wood?”

George Estrada

“Yeah, I work—couple years ago I worked with George Gabb. I worked with him for about four or five years and then I went on my own and did my carving in wood. But I was always working wood and now that I’m doing stone, it’s a good experience. I like it.”

And while stone sculpting is labour intensive, Junior College student, Lesley Codd is among the females in the group who has been getting her hands dirty at the work site.

Lesley Codd

Lesley Codd, Visual Arts and Sculpting Student, SJC Junior College

“I’m going to school so I’ve done a semester doing sculptures at the Junior College.”

Delahnie Bain

“So what has it been like for you to actually be in there with professionals?”

Lesley Codd

“With professionals its completely different because at school we work with manipulating stuff to look the way we want it; with this, we have this boulder and we’re grinding it, we’re hammering, we’re chiselling and it’s a completely different thing.”

Jock Hildebrand

“Of course the Mayans had these many hundreds and thousands of years ago but it’s been lost and now our attempt with the great help from NICH is to reintroduce that art form into Belize. To start it, this is the seed and hopefully, it will grow into a great flower.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The symposium runs until December tenth and is being held under the theme “Belize at Thirty – Sculpting the Vision”. The pieces created will be put on display in different parts of the country.

Channel 5


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#424024 - 12/03/11 02:18 PM Re: Sculptors build a new art and experiences [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Boulders Of Limestone/Bold Public Art Initiative

We told you about the sculpture symposium a few weeks ago. It started off with the usual kind of display - but that was only the start of one of the boldest pubic art initiatives we've ever seen in Belize.

We caught up with the programme today where things have gone from the showroom to the work shop - and the scale and size of public sculpture has grown immensely.

Jules Vasquez reporting
The grounds at the former CET compound have been transformed into a workyard where massive hulking, ten ton boulders of limestone - that have been chiseled, shaped and sculpted to perfection are hoisted by a crane.

The sculptor in this case is British - one of six international masters participating in the most ambitious public art project Belize has ever witnessed:

Jacques Hildebrand
"What we've done here is we brought in a whole bunch of 15 tonns stones, we brought them from Pine Ridge where they were quarry. We put them on site here and what we intend to do is to make complete sculptures out of those stones to remain in the public in Belize."

Acrid Puffs of limestone powder gust from each piece in progress and the entire place is covered in a haze, the workers wrapped up like Bedouins, whitened like snowmen.

This compelling three part work was nearing completion. The sculptor is Austrian Caroline Ramesdorfer.

Caroline Ramesdorfer - Austria 18th. Sculpture Symposium
"It has a nexus point it's going to be the crossings of linings of the columns, they are like pillars almost, like they are pillars of a thought they are pillars of a building, a constructive positive meaning in the work. And the matching point when you see all three of them together up in the position on the steel stand, I would call it like a nexus point, like a meeting point, somewhere where things come together."

And coming together is an appropriate theme for this uncannily ambitious project - it combines sculptors from Belize and Europe:

Jacques Hildebrand
"We have eight sculptors' 2 are Belizean, we have 1 Romanian, 1 Bulgarian, Austrian, Turkey, English, Canada well, yeah (laughs)."

And the works reflect that international sensibility - this one form a Turkish Sculptor depicts the sea and the sky while Belizean Anthony Vacarro is doing an odd thing, he's recreating a mask that was first done at Lamanai over one thousand years ago - and similarly that was cut from blocks of limestone.

Is it appropriation or comodification? He says it's accountability:

Anthony Vacarro
"It is a piece that you can pass remark on because it's not an abstract, you can't pass remarks on a abstract, that from the mind of the artist, but everybody in the public can say whether this head is Lamanai head or not."

Jules Vasquez
"You confident you can do it?"

Anthony Vacarro
"Yes that's why I am working on it. This is a great experience for me, but I have the knowledge of working already because stone work has been done from time to time in Belize."

But this scale of work hasn't been done since, well the Mayans - and while we have Mayan Temples to prove their worth, from this project.

Jacques Hildebrand
"First of all we have international sculpture finding a home in Belize to remain here for generations. The second thing is now we have trained group of Belizean sculptors to work in stone renewing a tradition that comes from thousands of years ago that got lost. We bring it back now."

Jackie Castillo, Public Relations NICH
"What NICH is trying to do is we are to instill public art. It's something that is not popular here in Belize, but we figured that since we have sculptors in Belize who work in primary wood and maybe some of them may work in some slate, we wanted to introduce working in a new type of material. Visuals art is something that can inspire and it can ignite different type of thinking."

Jacques Hildebrand
"These sculptors comes and essentially donates these sculptures to the people of Belize, in permanent situation, it's centered in a public place where everybody can enjoy them. "

The sculpture symposium will wrap up next week Saturday at 10:00 am at the CET compound - and the public is invited to see what the final works look like.

After that, the works will be assigned to public places which are yet to be determined.

Channel 7


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#425099 - 12/13/11 02:03 PM Re: Sculptors build a new art and experiences [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Nine Monumental Sculptures Unveiled

10 days ago we told you about the unprecedented ambition of the sculpture symposium being held at the Center Form employee Training. This was no regular symposium; there was no sitting around and talking; it was a working symposium where 7 European sculptors and two locals took huge 15 tons boulders of limestone to conjure sculptures on a monumental scale.

The symposium finished on Friday and the pieces were unveiled on Saturday: here's what they look like.

Shari Williams - Communications Officer, NICH
"We can only say that the entire symposium was a huge success, meaning Belize now have a donation of some new pieces. Pieces that we could never be able to pay for. These people gave up their time, effort and talent of course and so now the job is to find where to put them. Several of the pieces have been bought, some of them are for sustainable tourism development and they are going to decide where to put them, one is for the Cayo welcome center, one goes to the NICH compound in Belmopan and of course we have a couple more still up for sale. So if anybody wants a huge piece of public art work they could always call us at NICH."

"We are hoping that this is one of many symposiums to come. Of course we had Jack Gillibrand who acted as the program director of the entire project. He has a home here in Belize and so he comes very often. He is a renowned sculptor himself and so we are hoping that this is just the beginning of one of many to come."

"More that all it's the seed that has been planted in that out artist now have a new medium in which they could work in. A medium we felt has been lost over the years since the ancient Mayas. So now we are hoping that these artists will embrace this new talent that they acquired and go forth and produce work in stone."

"We've been trying to show to Belizeans that art is outside of a frame, it's not just a painting on the wall. Art could be anything; everybody has some level of artistic bones in their body. We are trying to expand the communities' dialogue with art."

There are nine pieces total and five of them are selling for fifteen thousand dollars each. The international sculptors are from Austria, Turkey, Germany, Bulgaria, England and Romania.

Channel 7


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#425204 - 12/14/11 01:54 PM Re: Sculptors build a new art and experiences [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Sculpture Symposium Pieces Explained

Last night we showed you the end result of the sculpture symposium - 9 monumental sculptures which are currently on display at the compound of the former Center For Employment Training.

Well, more than a few folks asked us what they are - or are supposed to represent.

A fair question, and we put it to the project organizer, Jock Hildebrand today:..

Jacques Hildebrand
"The pieces from the international artists are all really very contemporary modern approaches to sculpture."

Caroline Ramesdorfer, Austria
"A nexus point is a point of unity in time and space. The in-between spaces are important between one slab and the other and its unification of sad intellect feelings."

Jacques Hildebrand
"The one behind here, there was some difficulty with the stone. A piece of the stone broke, so he had to redesign half way through with the stone. I think he calls it Belize Wave."

"The one behind is called Smoking Mirror by Colin from Britain. His idea came after he found the stone on the site and after he had been on a trip to Lamanai. When he was in Lamanai he came to understand about "Smoking Mirror" so he tried to use some of the Mayan sculpture influences that were there and try to turn it into a very contemporary redesign of some of their ideas."

"Past that is Pictury, he is from Bulgaria. His piece is again a very contemporary piece, it's about the relationship between objects and the two stones, very specific about how he placed the stones and how the shapes inside the stone approach each other. So that's his approach."

"On the far end is Roland from Germany. His piece is very tall, its two pieces and his interpretation - I am not exactly sure of because he didn't tell me. So some guys don't like to really talk about it, so the idea is that you take a look at it and you make your own consideration about it."

"Then of course we have Curl the Belizean sculptor, worked on that piece in two weeks. First time he works on stone, so quite astonishing in that context."

"Anthony Vacarro did the piece which essentially an interpretation of Lamanai, again Anthony was the second Belizean sculptor on the project and over here we have Canan from Turkey. She incorporated a lot of the ancient sites from her country in this piece. A very flowing, almost watery feathery kind of interpretation, again this is something that people need to come and take a look at they can scratch their heads and say I know what that means and It could become what you and I say."

Jacques Hildebrand
"I think it's probably to date the major contribution to public art in Belize since the days of the Mayas. So there is a historical aspect that we can't really determine at this point but in terms of putting public art in public places, it's a major project."

Jules Vasquez
"As I understand it these pieces are being essentially donated by the artist."

Jacques Hildebrand
"Essentially that's right. The sculptors that you see working here, pieces this size would range from $50,000 - $100,000 US dollars. That's what they see for from here. So when I conceive the idea of the symposium we had to tell the sculptors that they would have the Belize experience and this is what would make it worthwhile and I think they would all agree that that's the case."

"In terms of how Belizeans would relate to this - unknown and I believe would be positive. How does it mean to the people the Belizean sculptors who are working here, one person said to me today a sculptor was born."

Caroline Ramesdorfer, Austria
"It's had been a challenge. It has been a wonderful collaboration despite the fact that it was a challenge. With the organizers and the assistance as well as the public who came here and cheered us up, It's a great honor to me to have this piece here in Belize and I hope that the public is going to enjoy it and I do hope it's going to have a nice place permanent installed and sure trust it will have."

Four of the pieces are currently designated for public spaces.

Channel 7


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