The Slovenia Times

New sculptures join Kostanjevica open-air collection


Two new monumental pieces have been unveiled at the open-air sculpture collection in Kostanjevica na Krki in the south-east of the country to wrap up what is arguably the world's oldest still running international sculpture symposium.

Taking place for the 30th time at the complex of a former monastery, the Forma Viva workshop saw Slovenian sculptor Tomaž Furlan and his Croatian counterpart Alem Korkut work for a month on their sculptures.

Korkut's piece is based on 25 white-painted wooden beams, about 10 metres high, while Furlan's consists of six-metre-long halves of an oak trunk, split in half lengthwise and placed upright.

The sculptures, which weigh several tonnes, have joined those created by artists from around the globe during the past Forma Viva events. These are organised every two years by the Božidar Jakac Gallery.

The sculpture park at the complex run by the gallery features more than 80 Forma Viva sculptures, while several more can be found in the island town of Kostanjevica na Krki nearby.

As part of Forma Viva, restoration of badly deteriorated pieces dating back several decades also takes place, the gallery's director Goran Milovanović has told the Slovenian Press Agency.

Eisaku Tanaka's Japanese Festival sculpture from 1961 was restored last year. This year they started working on the 1974 piece The Wheel by British sculptor Ian Walters, Caryatid by Romanian artist Eugen Ciuca from 1968 and Australian-born Bernard Ball's 1963 piece Untitled.

Restoration and conservation efforts, which will be completed in October 2024, are led by conservator-restorer Aleš Vene, who this year also gave a conservation workshop.

Since its launch in 1961, Forma Viva has hosted 135 sculptors and produced just as many monumental sculptures. It has been taking place biennially since 1998 when it was re-introduced after a ten-year hiatus.

The idea for Forma Viva workshops in Slovenia was given by sculptors Jakob Savinšek (1922-1961) and Janez Lenassi (1927-2008). They modelled it on a similar event in St Margarethen in Austria.

Eight sculptors from around the world gathered in Kostanjevica na Krki in 1961 working in wood, and in Portorož on the coast, where sculptures are made of stone. Later the event expanded to sites in Ravne na Koroškem and Maribor.

To see photos of all sculptures made in Kostanjevica na Krki over the years, click here.


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