Art and Nature
Nature is unique and has inspired sensitive minds through the centuries. While travelling through South Africa, I visited an exhibition of large Shona sculptures at the Botanical Gardens of Kristenbosch, near Cape Town. I was fascinated by the sight of these springstone works in their lovely natural setting. The idea of matching large sculptures to my wood in Italy was born. I decided to create a permanent exhibition along a shadowy trail, which runs through a beautiful wood of oaks: the Chianti Sculpture Park.
The underlying theme of the Park was the integration of art and nature. Each artist was invited to visit the wood in order to choose a location and subsequently submit a site- specific proposal. This accounts for the harmony of the sculptures with the trees, sounds, colours, light, and other elements of the wood.
Another objective of the park is to show a good variety of ideas, forms and materials. Over twenty countries are represented so far and this makes the park truly unique in Italy. We wanted to give room to artists rarely known in Europe, but famous in their country of origin; significant talents that otherwise would have no exposure to the western public.
When I enter the park today, I am amazed to see it so positively transfigured, happy to host shapes that have strived to blend in elegantly, without arrogance in the face of its oaks, its slopes, its colours. The works themselves, all of them, remind me of the artists and their own personalities – dynamic, thoughtful, shy, bright – but sharing sensitivity and intelligence. The great ability of these artists is in leaving in the woods something that is new, yet that seems to have always been part of the context, a complex organism that has become an artistic composition, varying only with the shifting of light and season.
Based on the success of the Chianti Sculpture Park, a new project in the immediate surroundings of the park was recently born. The little village Pievasciata is now Borgo d’Arte Contemporanea, (Hamlet of Contemporary Art). The idea was to involve both families and institutions to display works of art on their own land, with a view to enhancing the specific area of Chianti, already famous for its wine and picturesque villages. So far, nine sculptures have already been installed.
Curator’s selected artists:
Pilar Aldana Mendez
Born and based in Italy. Curator of Chianti Sculpture Park in Tuscany, Italy
Curator of the project “Pievasciata Borgo d’Arte Contemporanea – Hamlet of Contemporary Art”
Manager of La Fornace Art Gallery
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