Cornelia Konrads Land Art installations have floated over natural landscapes across the world. Seeming to defy gravity, the works by the German-based artist use materials found within those landscapes, such as rocks and branches, to form installations which strike an ambivalent pose, caught in the midst of a skyward ascension or a downward accumulation. Suspended in time, the works provide a peaceful, contemplative interaction between nature and man-made culture while forming a bridge of mythic other-worldliness between the two.
The Gate (2004) © Cornelia Konrads
Konrads works in the field of artists such as Andy Goldsworthy and Rob Mullholland, responding to nature by presenting a way for the viewer, or more commonly, visitor, to reexamine their relationship to place through site-specific installations. Gateways feature heavily within Konrads’ work – Passage, installed in a forest clearing in Germany, provides a literal pathway back into nature. Returning cut-down branches to the cleared area, Konrads provides a direct, graceful and yet playful link between our own interventions into nature and the beauty of the nearby untouched wilderness. Crafted from branches mounted upon an iron frame and suspended with steel rope, the installation forms a roughly organized door frame before drifting upwards and outwards, almost camouflaged by the surrounding woodlands.
Meanwhile The Gate reclaimed two posts, denoting an abandoned entrance way in France by surrounding them with found rocks. As they ascend, the rocks transform the entrance from a regular man-made structure into something altogether more ethereal. “Piles…” is a series of installations whose visual impact is drawn from “the pleas and prayers of people in Asia who raise cones of wishing stones, a shamanic custom that is older than Buddhism.” Here Konrads integrates a more focused sense of hope into the reformation of found natural objects and their surroundings.
Some of Konrads’ pieces provide a further layer of ambivalence — Le Mur (2006) presents either the possibility of an entrance or the removal of a path, depending upon one’s interpretation of the direction of the suspended rocks. Similar gravity-defying installations are featured prominently throughout Konrads’ significant portfolio of work. More recent installations provide novel ways for us to reconsider our own environment – like her dramatic, if somewhat comical slingshot composed of a large wishbone-shaped tree branch and a regular park bench.
All photos © Cornelia Konrads, used with permission