Andorra becomes the backdrop for the 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial

For a full month, unrivalled natural and urban sites in the Principality of Andorra have become prestigious supports for the art work of more than 20 artists from Andorra and around the world.

The art born out of a natural space, also known as Land Art, is one of the burgeoning contemporary artistic trends of recent years. In it, countless artists have found meaning for their work, as well as a place for the expression of sensitivities that are closely connected with nature, its immensity and its elements.

"Estripagecs" | Pere Moles | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial
“Estripagecs” | Pere Moles | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial

The Land Art artist finds his/her main element of expression in nature and the environment. The existing landscape, whether natural or urban, becomes his/her support, serving at once as both the canvas and the work itself. The primary technique for this movement is the installation, an explicit intervention in the environment that modifies a part of the existing landscape, whether that is a forest, a valley, a lake, a desert, a building, a town square or a mountain.

Land Art in Andorra

The artistic and cultural tradition in Andorra has been typified by moments of brilliance and jolts of reality, among others. This is precisely what occurred with the 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial: it has become a huge attraction, not just for the people of Andorra, but also for tourists who find freshness and novelty in this type of expression.

In a matter of days, Andorra transformed her landscapes (natural and urban) through interventions that literally broke away from the daily image that the country normally offers. Longitud sense amplada (“Longitude without Width”, by Miquel Mercè, Andorra), one of the most astounding works (and one of the most questioned pieces), has completely changed the natural-urban landscape of Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany, the country’s main urban centres.

Longitude without Width | Miquel Mercè | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial
“Longitude without Width” | Miquel Mercè | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial

Bois de poche (Marie Hélène Richard, France) reminds us that there is no smoke without fire. It is an installation that decidedly opts to rescue the matches and traditions that have disappeared with the passage of time: the fire lighter, the small match vendor, and the habit of pipe smoking. As to be expected, the support for this installation was the outside of the famous Tobacco Museum.

Bois de poche | Marie Hélène Richard | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial
“Bois de poche” | Marie Hélène Richard | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial

The artists

The Principality of Andorra never ceases to be a treasure chest full of surprise nestled amid the mountains, dazzling all who come to visit. The art pieces by Stuart Williams, David Vanorbeek, Joseph Ford, Martín Hill and Philippa Jones have found in our country unique venues that have amazed each and every one of our international guests. As to our local host artists, they include Mónica Armengol, Pere Moles, Tito Farré and Sussana Ferran. We invite anyone who wonders whether Andorra is a fertile soil for art to come and find out about the careers of each of these artists. They are sure to change the minds of anyone short of optimism.

The Ras Zone, a place for learning

The Ras Zone, an essential pillar of the 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial, is a geographic area that combines learning and creativity in perfect harmony. Though it is especially conceived for schools, it is also a wonderful place for the general public to come into contact with nature through art.

School visiting the Ras Zone with the artist Eudald Alabau | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial
School visiting the Ras Zone with the artist Eudald Alabau | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial

Espai Origen (“Origin Space”)

Sara Valls (Andorra), Fréderic Hoffmann (France) and Susanna Ferrán (Andorra)

The Espai Origen (“Origin Space”) was born in the Ras Zone. According to Sussana Ferran, one of the creators this installation, “The idea arose because they proposed Lake Engolasters for an art work or installation. We went to see the site and found these trees with their exposed roots. That got us to talking about origins, about roots, and so we conceived a space for reflection on origins. A space where each person can think about what the origin is.”

"Espai Origen " | Outside view | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial
“Espai Origen “ | Outside view
"Espai Origen " | Interior view | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial
“Espai Origen “ | Interior view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This gave rise to the idea of one of the installations that combined the visions of artists Sara Valls, Fréderic Hoffmann and Susanna Ferrán. Three artists with different sensitivities and professional backgrounds who set out together on the triple adventure of co-creation. Triple, because a crucial issue involved in the process of co-creating is how to connect; in other words, connecting with the theme that is being portrayed. There is also the challenge of how to use art to connect with the rest of the world. Yet above all and the most difficult aspect is the connection among the artists, working with the conviction that the piece to be born from the process will offer a more complete result.

Sara Valls (Andorra), Susanna Ferrán (Andorra) and Fréderic Hoffmann (France)
Sara Valls (Andorra), Susanna Ferrán (Andorra) and Fréderic Hoffmann (France)

It must be noted that the geometric shape of the dome was built by Toni Riberaygua and the design was based on the principles of sacred geometry (geodesic dome). Additionally, on certain days, the space included the sound installation by Lluís Casahuga, proposing a path of introspection through a selection of different meditative compositions from the world.

Life is Flow

Susanna Ferrán (Andorra) and Fréderic Hoffmann (France)

In the other valley, in the Natural Park of Sorteny, the piece Life is Flow has found a unique space that Land Art has destined to the connection between spirituality and nature.

Over the past several years, Susanna Ferrán and Fréderic Hoffmann have been moving along a path in search of what they prefer to refer to as an “energy journey”, a journey in search of identity through the immensity of nature, and unexpectedly, a journey full of surprises.

"Life is flow"| Sussana Ferrán and Fréderic Hoffmann | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial
“Life is flow” | Sussana Ferrán and Fréderic Hoffmann | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial

Life is flow, yes! And each day I flow more in life. It’s a matter of living in the present and not allowing ourselves to be carried away by the fears that we all have; and above all, it is a reflection to help us overcome those fears. Life is flow is a state and a modus vivendi. It is an outlook on life”. This is crystal clear for Susanna Ferran, who lives and breathes to the beat of a project that combines her own vitality and introspection with nature and what she understands as “the connection between the human being and the cycle of life”.

"Life is flow" | Sussana Ferrán y Fréderic Hoffmann | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial
“Life is flow” | Sussana Ferrán y Fréderic Hoffmann | 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial

This personal artistic project is undoubtedly the result of her trips to the Himalayas, Nepal and India, and also to her own origins (the mountains of Andorra). Yet it also stems from her deep connection with nature, and of course, from her spiritual approach to life. The first two stages of this project have their place in Land Art in the form of a photographic installation.

Susanna Ferrán’s photographs reflect a deep and intimate connection with nature. As to Fréderic Hoffmann, his poetry endows each one of those beautiful images with a special warmth, offering each viewer a unique, complete, reflective and transforming experience.

Andorra, a country with close ties to tourism, business, shopping and snow sports, has decisively opened up a path known to it in the past, yet only intermittently treaded upon: the path of art. In the 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial, the country’s cultural and environmental heritage has been given centre stage. And that heritage is the main attraction for another celebration. Will there be more Land Art? Yes!

For more information on the 1st Andorra Land Art International Biennial, please visit: andorralandart.com | Facebook | Twitter @LandArtAndorra | Blog

For more information about Susanna Ferrán and her work, please visit: susannaferran.com | Facebook | Blog

If you would like further information about art investments in Andorra, buying art in Andorra or the international auction market, do not hesitate to contact Andorra Sotheby’s International Realty:  Av. Joan Martí, 102 – AD200 Encamp – Tel. + 376 872 222 – Fax: + 376 872 223 – info@sir.ad