Greek News Agenda pays tribute to landscape sculptor Nella Golanda who will be turning 81 on June 19 2022. A graduate of the Athens School of Fine Arts and the first honorary member of the Pan-Hellenic Association of Landscape Architects, Golanda has, since 1970, applied a holistic approach – or else the concept of “Total Art” – in public spaces, re-establishing the relationship between nature and historical landscape on a human scale with the aim of regenerating urban life in contemporary metropolitan cities.
One of Golanda’s artistic goals has always been to make public spaces human-centered again. In fact, Golanda’s sculptures function as interactive experimental landscapes where art comes out of the museums and becomes part of everyday life. Her works are referenced at international universities, congresses, and architectural editions, while the artist has participated in a number of prestigious events, including the Praga Conference “Culture in Towns” (1993), the European Landscape Convention in Andorra “Landscape and Transfrontier Cooperation: Landscape knows no border» (2015), and the Venice Architecture Biennale (2016).
Though she has had the chance to create works of art in other parts of the world, Nella Golanda’s work is “indigenous” to the Greek landscape. With marble, concrete and wood being the main elements of her work, the artist’s expression of materiality has a direct connection with ancient Greek history and a clear reference to contemporary Greek architecture. As she has noted:
“One of the milestones in my life as a child is that I ran, played, and gazed at the sky and the sea, the beauty of the Greek landscape in correlation with the ancient ruins found in it.
The human scale observed in every architectural expression from the temples of classic antiquity to the most humble buildings, brought me close to an actual miracle. I have had the incredible fortune to live in an open-air museum: Greece”
More specifically, the artist envisions Greece as a terrace towards the sea where the horizon and water surface create a sense of infinity, as this is one of the main features that makes Greek landscape so special. The connection and the dialogue with the coastal landscape have been eloquently expressed in the artist’s design of “Flisvos sculpted Quay” in Paleo Faliro. Other remarkable projects of hers are Flisvos Main Square, Aixoni Sculptured Theatre in Glyfada, and the Pedestrian-Bicycle Path connecting Rafina with Marathon. There are also the Historical Center of Larisa and the Pedestrian Connection of the Two Main Squares of Larisa with the City Ancient Theatre, as well as the Sculpted River of Larissa that was Greece’s official entry to the 5th Landscape Award Session of the Council of Europe.
It is worth mentioning that Nella Golanda is one of the Greek women architects to receive the Archisearch Lifetime Achievement Awards at ESO 2022, the one-day conference that has become a leading showcase event for architecture, and interior & graphic design in Greece. Organized by +Design and Archisearch magazines, the event is co-curated by the Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation and will take place on 15 June at the main stage of Onassis Stegi, under the title “Crossing Territories” referring to society’s unprecedented experiences in recent years, which have paved the way towards cultural, political and economic transformations.
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