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Nadalian: River Art

An interview by John K. GRANDE

Nadalian is an Iranian sculptor whose life's work involves engendering respect for living creatures and the natural environment. To achieve this, besides living with nature himself, he established sculpture grounds in a peaceful environment in natural surroundings. Water is a living element that contributes to his sculptures, and many of the symbols he engraves and sculpts are derived from ancient mythology and the rituals of pre-Islamic civilizations. more

 

Nadalian in Green Museum

By carving simple fish shapes and other forms onto small stones and river rocks, artist Ahmad Nadalian seeks to repopulate the spirit of neglected streams and rivers in his native Iran and around the world and share these treasures with future generations.  more

 

Utne Magazine May-June 2006  USA

Ahmad Nadalian
[Iran]

A human who loves stones and water, Ahmad Nadalian moves like a fish transgressing international borders. 
 More

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By Professor  Robert C. Morgan
 

"I was so impressed with your concept, working at low tide in the early mornings to carve signs that during the day would be concealed.  It calls into question so much about time, history, language, meaning, and sculpture." More

 

About Ahmad Nadalian

By : Edward Lucie-Smith
 

In Iran, Ahmad Nadalian (b.1963) is in the process of creating an immense River Art installation along the banks and amidst the waters of the Haraz River, near Mount Damavend More

 



Art Tomorrow

 

Works by Nadalian in USA

 

Hidden Treasures

Works in Other Countries

 

Works by Nadalian in Bangladesh

 

 

Installations 

Spending most of his time in the mountain region of Damavand, he derives his forms from those already in nature. The shape of a stone is meaningful to him. He has collected thousands of stones, and each is a distinct figure to him. In gathering stones and arranging them in novel patterns, he strives to discover the meanings hidden within. He has combined numerous stones in spiral patterns at his Pardees garden in the village of Poloor. This arrangement, set against the shrubs and flowers of the slanting garden hillside, can be seen from a distance away.

A collection is a set of carvings at the Haraz River near Mt. Damavand (near the village of Poloor, 65 kilometers from the Tehran-Amol road). This series, which he has named “River Art”, is composed of carved rocks that have been abandoned at the site where they were created. He intends to transform this area into a permanent repository for his art. Instead of being displayed in a gallery or museum, the artwork has been presented in nature itself.

 

Dragon  1996 

 


 

Zurvan (Time)

Following his works of land art, he created an installation for the First Biennial of the Islamic World. He had arranged stones upon the floor of one of the Niavaran’s halls, in a twisting spiral pattern. At the center was a spherical stone, carved with an image of a symmetrical twin fetus. This design is rooted in an ancient Iranian myth of creation. Ancient Iranians believed that Zurvan (time), existed long before the Sky and the Earth. He had longed wished for a child, and after a thousand years of prayer, was granted twins. One of these was Evil, the other Good. The force of Good stood for goodness, light and beauty; the force of Evil represented all things bad, ugly and dark. The spiral pattern of the stones recalled Chinese Yin-Yang mythology, itself another myth of creation. The children of Zervan were also featured in other works on a smaller scale.

 

 

 

Nadalian had arranged stones upon the floor of one of the Niavaran’s halls, in a twisting spiral pattern. At the center was a spherical stone, carved with an image of a symmetrical twin fetus. This design is rooted in an ancient Iranian myth of creation. Ancient Iranians believed that Zurvan (time), existed long before the Sky and the Earth. He had longed wished for a child, and after a thousand years of prayer, was granted twins. One of these was Evil, the other Good. The force of Good stood for goodness, light and beauty; the force of Evil represented all things bad, ugly and dark. The spiral pattern of the stones recalled Chinese Yin-Yang mythology, itself another myth of creation. The children of Zervan were also featured in other works on a smaller scale.

Another work by Nadalian  was a display of stones arranged on the floor. One of the stones was a natural formation with a stone globe inside, upon which the twin fetus had been symmetrically arranged. This work is an extension of his work at the “+30 Group Exhibition” another take on the myth of Zervan. This time the stone lies within a larger one, with the total arrangement following a straight line.



چيدمان ديگري از او در نمايشگاه گروه + 30 در پائيز 1379 در فرهنگسراي نياوران ارائه شد. در اينجا نيز مجموعه سنك ها در كف نمايشگاه ارائه شده بودند . تركيب اين سنگ ها به صورت دوراني و چرخشي حلزوني بودند. در مركز، يك سنگ كروي شكل وجود داشت كه در آن دو جنين به صورت متقارن تركيب شده بودند. اين اثر ملهم از يك اسطوره كهن ايراني بود كه نظام هستي را تبيين ميكند.  در ايران باستان اعتقاد بر اين بود كه زروان (زمان) پيش از اينكه زمين و يا آسمان وجود داشته باشد به تنهائي وجود داشت. زروان در آرزوي فرزندي بود و پس از هزار سال نيايش صاحب دو قلو شد. يكي از اين دو قلو ها خير بود و ديگري شر.  نيروي خير نماينده همه خوبيها، زيبايي و نور بود و نيروي شر نماينده بدي ها زشتي و ظلمت.  تركيب سنگهاي دوراني ملهم از نقش يين و يانگ چيني بود كه خود تبيين نظام هستي است.  فرايند تولد زروان در اثر ديگري كه ابعاد آن كوچك بودند ارائه شده بودند.

 

 

 

 

در نمايشگاه گروهي هنر مفهومي در نگارخانه برگ او مجموعه سنگهاي كروي شكلي را در كنار سنگهائي قرار داد كه جاي خالي كروي شكل در دل آنها وجود داشتند. چنين تركيب هاي انتزاعي قبلا در نمايشگاه انفرادي او ارائه شده بود. در آنجا سنگهاي كروي در دل فضاي كروي شكل سنگ قرار گرفته بودند.

 

 

At the center was a stone, carved with an image of a symmetrical twin fetus. This design is rooted in an ancient Iranian myth of creation. Ancient Iranians believed that Zurvan (time), existed long before the Sky and the Earth. He had longed wished for a child, and after a thousand years of prayer, was granted twins. One of these was Evil, the other Good. The force of Good stood for goodness, light and beauty; the force of Evil represented all things bad, ugly and dark. The spiral pattern of the stones recalled Chinese Yin-Yang mythology, itself another myth of creation. The children of Zervan were also featured in other works on a smaller scale.

 

Nadalian delights in walking on the riverbanks and listening to the even flow of the river.  He loves collecting stones, which he considers to be ready made sculptures.   
Certain questions have always occupied his mind; how does the inherent harmony of nature give form to these stones through the flow of water? Can one be as delicate and flowing as water, and bring order and significance to solid rock?  
The stones speak to him. Their shapes exemplify the harmonious structures of the universe. His most glorious moments are when a chunk of rock captivates his imagination. His figures already exist in nature. It is not his mind alone that selects the forms from nature.  Perhaps these forms, products of nature’s harmonious structure, have selected him, and wish to teach him how to see. He accepts the natural structure, and abides by its rules. His works depict the balance and flow of nature.