Nikola-Lenivets is an open-air art park spread over 650 hectares of land in Kaluga Oblast, Russia. Founded by Nikolay Polissky, the largest art park in Europe is open to artists’ creative as well as innovative experiments. The park contains more than 30 permanent artworks, and there have been over 100 artworks exhibited in the area since its founding in 2000. The art park also has a spectacular annual tradition of burning large and majestic weed tree installations. This event takes place on Maslenitsa, also known as Butter Lady, which is an Eastern Slavic folk holiday that has its origins in Slavic mythology.
Here are some of the most impressive installations in Nikola-Lenivets art park.
The burning of art objects in Nikola-Lenivets started with the “Hay Tower” which, after a year, got further damage when the cows ate it. So, the park decided to say goodbye to this installation. However, it was too expensive to dismantle it. That’s why they decided to burn this installation in 2001 which later turned into a Maslenitsa tradition. Burnt in 2018, the Flaming Gothic also presented one of the most spectacular visuals on Maslenitsa.
The Tower of Babylon
Burnt in 2022, the 23 meters high model of the Tower of Babylon serves as a modern symbol of discord as its architect Ekaterina Polyakova stated. According to the Biblical story, the original tower was never completed due to the disorder that came after the creation of multiple languages. As a result, nations could not understand each other. So, they could not complete the tower that could have saved them in case of another flood. Accordingly, the construction of the model took place in a year when both COVID-19 and Russia’s attack on Ukraine caused social disorder. Accordingly, the guests had the opportunity to complete the tower on their own before burning it. They also scheduled Maslenitsa specifically on Sunday, March 6 (Forgiveness Sunday) instead of Saturday.