Greece: The six sculptors of “Marble Peak” in Drama reveal their secrets in Stonenews

Eltrak - Cat banner ad

From 3 to 29 October, the first marble sculpture symposium is being held in Drama. “Marble Peak” is an initiative of the municipality of Kato Nevrokopi to highlight and promote marble as a material of art and culture, in an area (near the quarries of Volakas) that is famous for the excellent quality of the marble exported around the world.

As part of the symposium, six marble sculptors from different countries are hosted. The sculptors are: Giorgie Cpajak (Serbia), Viktar Kopach (Belarus), Nilhan Sesalan (Turkey), Ciprian Hopirtena (Romania), Kamen Tanev (Bulgaria) and Odysseas Tosounidis from Greece, who undertook the creation of sculptures, in one month and these pieces of art, will be placed in central parts of Drama.

Stonetech banner ad
Stonetech banner ad
Officine Marchetti banner ad

The six sculptors spoke to Stonenews and expressed their satisfaction for the whole organisation and revealed their secrets of their work, as well as from where they are inspired by their works.

Kamen Tanev (Bulgaria)

You are in Greece for a sculpture symposium. How much do the history of thousands of years of a sculptural tradition affect you and if you draw from antiquity elements that appear in your work.

“I am clearly influenced by the history of the place, although this comes after the end of the experience. We come up with a ready-made plan already worked on from the beginning. The effect begins about something you will see or make that reminds you of the place you visited. In my own sculptures, even in the most abstract ones, I work with forms influenced by antiquity”.

Describe to me a difficult problem that arose during the making of a sculpture and how you dealt with it.

“Michael Angelos always said that the sculptor must always go with the waters of marble. It is like a river. You need to look at your material and this means that several times the original idea can change and constantly change due to possible problems that may arise”.

A few words about the event …

“In general, everything went smoothly, the equipment was good and functional and the main thing for me is the willingness of the organizers to work together in any problem that arises and this makes a symposium successful. It is also important for me to have a good sculptor in the event who knows the problems that arise and I would like to thank my friend Odysseus for his valuable help”.

Georgie Cpajak (Serbia)

You have been working with marble for so many years, how do you approach the volume, what is it that interests you?

“There are two ways to deal with it. One is with a small model that you then multiply and transfer it to the marble and the other is directly without a model, you work on the stone. It also often happens that the marble itself conveys the idea to you from the water and its shape. He imposes it on you in some way and it has happened to me several times to change the plan, influenced by the volume I had in front of me”.

What attracts you to a sculpture symposium and with what criteria do you choose it?

“The place, the marble, the friends, the amount of money … Everything. It is an amalgam of elements that you weigh and decide”.

A few words about the event …

“The marbles were excellent and were one of the best symposiums I have attended”.

Nilhan Sesalan (Turkey)

What is it like as a woman working with marble?

“As long as I carve the marble, I do not care about my physical nature. I’m trying to express my idea and it ‘s like disappearing. Not to be present. “When I leave my tools and work, I return to my daily life as a wife, mother, husband or girlfriend”.

Do you have any advice for other women who want to get involved in sculpture?

“I keep saying the same thing to women who want to do sculpture in Turkey, China and India regardless of the sex. Sculpture is one of the basic arts. First of all you have to perceive your life in many dimensions and design it as you wish. Also a tip for those who want to do sculpture: to exercise, to eat healthily, to stay close to science, to think constructively. Sculpture requires physical condition and as long as you improve your technique you will not face any problem in turning your idea into a piece of art”.

What does the project “The Borders” mean to you and what are you preparing?

“I have been making abstract lyrical sculptures for thirty years. I named my work in Nevrokopi “The map of the world”. My piece of art asks questions about the unlimited space or its limits”.

Tell us a few things about the symposiums you organize.

“I was a student when I first participated in an international symposium. Since that day I have organized various symposiums in several cities in Turkey. I am interested in the connection of the arts with the social life in my country. We are planning an international symposium in September 2022 in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and the Marble Association in Muğla. Primarily we work intensively for the design of a marble school as the schools in the area used to be in antiquity. We also hope to collaborate with my sculptor friend, Odysseas Tosounidis, with whom I work here in a joint of arts and science partnership between the cities of Drama and Muğla”.

A few words about the event …

“Sculpture symposiums are very useful as they are held with exhibits in public. They require high communication coverage. The committee together with the artistic curator and the coordinator of the program is a triptych and is fundamental for a successful event. I consider the “marble peak” successful in this part. I received a lot of generosity from the locals, the workplace and the hotel where we were staying. The presence of students and young people who visited us, gave me great motivation. It was very pleasant to create a project in Drama. I warmly thank those who contributed to the donation of excellent marbles, the municipality and the association of the hotels that made us artists feel that we are not alone in this world”.

Viktar Kopach (Belarus)

“I needed a machine that is usually not given at symposiums and in this case the organizers provided it to me and that was very positive. I also had the opportunity to choose my own marble from the quarry and for a sculptor this is the main thing. Finally, I would like to emphasize in our hospitality in Volakas, which was more than exceptional and makes us feel at home”.

Ciprian Hopirtena (Romania)

“After a long time of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to work in the sculpture’s birthplace and it was as if I was born again. Regarding the organization, I received what I asked for, as well as the dimensions of the marble which was very helpful in not being late and I immediately devoted myself to my work. The daily route from Volakas to Nevrokopi, seeing the origin of the marble, gave me a lot of energy and inspiration to create and I find this positive for the future of the place. All this experience made us come closer and live as a family even though we are from different countries”.

Odysseas Tosounidis (Greece)

“Clearly there are difficulties in every event, it is not at all easy to create an international symposium, but everything is going well and the organisers have responded immediately to our needs. Especially since we work in a place that gives birth to marble and for a sculptor this is very beautiful”.

The Marble Peak action was launched in collaboration with Emphasis, the Marble Association of Macedonia-Thrace, Greece, and the Drama Hoteliers Association. With the financial support and the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Greek Tourism Organization.