1st prize - Emaar Art Symposium Abu Dhabi,U.A.E
Fellowship - Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture, Vienna for work in Japan ,
Golden Award - International Sculpture Exposition,Zhengzhou, China
Caroline Ramersdorfer is an Austrian-born sculptor with studios in upstate New York and Feldkirch in Vorarlberg, Austria. Her work, both small scale and monumental, has gained an international following, with permanent installations in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Africa , the United Arab Emirates and the Caribbean. Ramersdorfer works in marble and granite, often in combination with steel, using light and space to create physical and spiritual interiors.
Ramersdorfer’s early work consisted of “combinations of rusty steel and granite characterized by a terrestrial, heavy gravitation.” These were seen as “a metaphorical expression of contemporary life and existence...”
As an emerging artist, Ramersdorfer made several trips to Japan at the invitation of the Reimei no oka International Sculpture Symposium in Kyushu, and the International Sculpture Symposium, Mura-oka-Cho/Hyogo Ken, and with the help of a grant from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education and the Arts and Culture she was able to stay on. Thus began a period of artistic growth as Ramersdorfer traveled between Asia and Europe. Upon her return to Japan in 1995, her work took on a lighter quality when she began a new series that integrated bamboo columns into stone sculptures. These sculptures were “loose, weightless, elegant… symbolizing steps towards a higher cognition and eternal youth.”
This trend continued over the next decade, enhanced by the addition of light as a sculptural element in her pieces. In the series Light (1997-1998), Ramersdorfer excavated “a defined space from natural rocks. Substituting the material with white neon light, Caroline Ramersdorfer visualizes a filtering of lines contrasting the full and void, the cubic and the structured layerings—making her sculptures seem to float and take off on a journey.”
In 2001, the Austrian Ministry of Art and Education supported a multimedia project, Inner Views, initiating a series of marble sculptures that continues to the present. The concept behind Inner Views, is to set free sculptural detail views from the inside of a form. In the series, ""she has focused on turning white marble inside out by using light, texture and grinding."" In these sculptures, Ramersdorfer analyzes multiple square marble slabs then recomposes them to reveal complex interior spaces populated with carved out columns and ridges. As in her earlier work, light is used as a sculptural element to transform a physical interior into something ethereal. The sculptures range in size from small scale to monumental, site-specific works.
Int.Friendship Sculpture Park Urumqi China 2009
Ramersdorfer sees the viewer as an integral part of her sculptures, and they are considered in her design from the beginning, especially in how she integrates light into her pieces. Smaller scale works are assembled in metal stands or hung in such a way as to reflect and capture the light. In her large-scale work, the viewer can enter the piece and experience the play of light, observing how this transforms a sculptural interior into a spiritual one.
The effect is described in the essay by Albert Ruetz in the catalogue accompanying the Cairo Biennial XII. “Light and the passage of time turn the delicate lattices into translucent assemblies that are constantly created anew, evoking a most varied range of emotions. In this way, the sensed three-dimensionality of the sculpture is augmented by the additional dimension of discovery, in the material qualities of the marble and its many-layered construction. The crystalline nature of the material is transformed by shifting light into amorphous formations which appear to breathe, acquiring a life and vitality of their own.”
Symbolism is important in Ramersdorfer’s work, as evident in the Inner Views series. As the series progressed, Ramersdorfer began to see the inner carvings as representing an interior world both physical and spiritual, something she called an architecture of the soul.
Cross-cultural understanding is another important theme in her work, through which she tries to bridge cultures to increase tolerance and understanding. ""I see being a sculptor as an active process in creating a union and finding intersecting points between art, world cultures and their decisive human factor.""
Seed of Unified Spirit, completed in 2008, took a global perspective, with seven marble slabs representing the different continents and poles, reflecting the Olympic park theme of “One World–One Dream.” Inner View Interlocked (2009), a commission from the Xinjiang International Urban Sculpture Symposium in Urumqi, China, to commemorate sixty years of the People‘s Republic of China, also embraced the idea of bridging cultures, ethnicities and human experience.