The art of the landscape

This weekend is the perfect time to set out on a trip to a land of phantasmagoric art deep in the woods as the village of Nikola-Lenivets in Kaluga region once again opens its famous festival of landscape objects.

Held since 2006, and charismatically led by artist Nikolay Polissky, every year the festival’s creations leave Nikola-Lenivets with a larger and larger collection of landscape art. The festival has become popular with foreign artists who come to Nikola-Lenivets to set out their wares alongside members of Russia’s own artistic community.

Artworks created here from natural materials such as hay, logs, wood and dry branches will not languish in this remote village indefinitely. Nikolay Polissky and his team are constantly invited to display the works at major shows across Europe, including the Art Biennale in Venice.

Every year the artists are invited to fantasize on a certain topic. This year a simple shed seen as “a prototype for more sophisticated structures and a symbol of any village” has become the departure point for the creative ideas of the festival’s participants. Curator Anton Kochurkin told RIA Novosti that this year the organizers were offered no fewer than 28 great ideas, and decided to bring four projects to life instead of narrowing the field to just one.   

Stainless Steel shed, the creation of FAS group of architects, required eight kilometers of chains. “Everything clanks and shines. From a distance it looks as a monolith, however at closer look it becomes a transparent art object, which can be passed through from any point,” Kochurkin said.

Oskar Madera’s “smart shed” is less artsy yet more an architectural work. This hangar is hosting a display of 28 projects which have been selected by the Shed № 11 competition jury. After this weekend, the shed will remain to host future exhibitions.

The festival does more than simply display landscape art.  It also offers a chance to hear excellent music and to see performances and art displays in a great atmosphere conducive to communing with nature.

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