Resounding art project hosted in Kamnik

The art exhibition dubbed “Good News!” includes works by artist William Sweetlove

A botanical garden-cum-outdoor-art-gallery has been adorned with unique monumental sculptures by esteemed artists from six countries. The project, curated by Belgian-based William Sweetlove, invites visitors to reflect on humanity’s overproduction, the necessity of acting in the face of climate change and banning plastic.

Dobre Novice! is a half-year international art event with a creative dialogue between William Sweetlove, who has exhibited worldwide for over 50 years, and more than 20 contemporary artists from six countries. The exhibition connects a number of venues, from eye-catching installations of sculptures in a beloved Slovenian botanical park, Arboretum Volčji Potok, to diverse exhibitions in art galleries and a host of unusual locations in the medieval heart of Kamnik.

Awe-inspiring art installations

In the 1980s, William Sweetlove began casting animal forms in resin, charting the direction he would embark on in the future – creating works that prompt a commentary on the overproduction and consumption that dominates much of the world. When the effects of climate change became an international concern, however, he devoted himself entirely to this topic. He says: “Climate change is the basis of my work.”

With his creations, he encourages visitors to think about preserving and protecting the environment and about ways to avoid a dystopian future brought about by global warming. His sculptures are made from recycled plastic from landfills or from bronze from oil cargo ships. Recently, he also started creating sculptures in the form of bags from the remains of discarded flip-flops.

“Those who may be appalled by Sweetlove’s screaming sculptures should know that it is their water bottles and plastic trash, just recycled, wrapped in packages that Sweetlove transforms and presents in more beautiful forms. When you see Sweetlove’s giant sculpture in screaming colours, you’re seeing your image in the mirror,” said Nina Koželj, one of the artists participating in the project.

How did the artist, who already organised 50 exhibitions at home and elsewhere in the world, even in places as remote as Antarctica and as eminent as Beverly Hills, decide to present himself at the foot of the Slovenian Alps?

A serendipitous meeting with architect Matthew McQuarrie, an American living in Komenda, prompted William Sweetlove to visit Kamnik at the beginning of last summer to arrange an exhibition of his works at the Volčji Potok Arboretum. As he said, he had never visited Slovenia before, but the first visit was enough for him to immediately decide in favour of the country.

Learn more about the project here.

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