The 'Conlotus' fountain was created by artist Nikolas Piper as a sculpture with a life of its own.
This creation, which was privately commissioned, implied embarking on a new line of work and exploring previously unknown research fields, such as botany, which proved to be extremely interesting. ‘Conlotus’ was devised as a fountain that was to become integrated between two ponds located in a magnificent private garden in the Balearic Islands. Its owners, art experts, sought a piece that was a sculpture for the garden, not a garden for a sculpture.
Among the ponds, known in the island as “safareigs”, the fountain had to coexist with the “Nelumbo nucifera”, an aquatic plant commonly known as “Lotus”. The Lotus is famous for its longevity, since its seeds can germinate even after 30 centuries. This fact blends well with Nikolas Piper’s goal of endowing his creations with a long life.
The aim of the “CONLOTUS” fountain was to be a companion during the plants’ life cycle, hiding among the flowers and leaves when they blossom during the summer and into the fall, its presence being sensed solely by the sound of its water flowing, and reappearing during the winter, when the Lotus flower enters a resting period and loses its leaves.
Taking advantage of the beauty of the Lotus leaves, some of them were reproduced using the latest scanning techniques, and several compositions were created whereby some would be fixed to the ground and some would float among the plants. Several moulds were made and then manipulated to achieve the artist’s vision, by paying special attention to the leave’s nerves. Subsequently, through the casting process, the leaves were created in bronze. Lastly, a series of pigments were applied until the desired tone was obtained, as similar to the natural leaves as possible.
The whole creative process culminated on installation day, when the artist had to fight against the plant’ biological clock by uprooting the plants from the ponds, anchoring the fountain to the ground and quickly reintroducing the plants’ roots with the aim of preventing major damage.
The end result was a creation with a very strong organic load, a discreet companion for the Lotus flowers during their blooming and flowering stages, finding in them its “raison d’être” as a sculpture.