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Impressions in the Sand

The growing world concern over environmental issues, has prompted some artists to take an active role in creating the environmental art. They experiment with radical new ways of co-existing with the environment and its ecology. The emphasis is on the union between nature and the arts by using purely natural materials without harming the ecology. This includes creating works of art from elements that exist in nature, such as rocks or sand, without removing them from their original place.

Ahmad Nadalian is one of a few Iranian environmental artists. He has been working in this field for the last ten years during which he has visited natural locations in more than forty countries, leaving behind a work of art in each. They might be sculpted pieces buried as a gift to the earth, or carved stone fish thrown into the river. But in the last two years he has concentrated his activities mainly in Iran, in his workshop in a village on the foot of Mount Damavand.

His current project is focused on stone. While some of his sculptures are carved in large chunks of rocks left at the sites where they were created, others are engraved on smaller pieces of various shapes. Many of the symbols he engraves and sculpts are derived from ancient mythology and pre-Islamic history. Cylindrical seals are amongst his favourite themes. These are large-scale cylinders with carved patterns that leave an impression when rolled on sand.

In this multimedia report, we visit the workshop of this creative artist and see many examples of his remarkable works of art.

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