After returning from Italy last year, I knew that I wanted to squeeze every drop out of the experience possible by going back again. That said, I knew that there had to be some more things that I wanted to share with my students rather than simply repeating everything that we did last year.
After some research, I discovered that there was a contemporary outdoor sculpture park not far from where we were staying. The Chianti Sculpture Park is located between Pievasciata and Vagliagli, about 6 miles north of Siena and quite close to where we were staying.
Each sculpture is site-specific and thought-provoking, following the ancient Italian tradition of sculpture made for a specific location outdoors. The park is the inspiration of Piero and Roslba Giadrossi and sits on about 17 acres of wooded property.
Artists, representing 26 countries were invited and asked to propose their ideas for inclusion into the park.
I knew this was a place I wanted to share with my students this year. Here are examples of some of my favorite pieces:
Energy, Costas Varotsos, Greece, Glass
Greek artist, Costas Varotsos is know for his large-scale glass pieces that evoke movement. He uses sheets of glass in unexpected ways as he has here.
Since we were in Italy, where the Italian cypress is plentiful, I couldn't help but see a representation of the cypress. Given the title of the artwork, I couldn't help but think of a tornado of movement as well. The weight of the glass is over 16 tons and the shimmer of light on the sculpture through the glass was beautiful.
Faith and Illusion, Dolorosa Sinaga, Indonesia, Metal
Faith and Illusion is perhaps my favorite piece in the collection because of how it moved me. The sculpture depicts a woman weighted down by the difficulties of life. She has faith that progress will improve her lot. However, she comes to realize that although she has faith that the system will benefit her, she realizes it is all an illusion, as the wealthy continue to get wealthier while the poor stay where they are. The entire sculpture is made of metal and the woman portrayed is surrounded by skyscrapers. I found myself revited viewing this piece. It was difficult to walk away.
Sinaga often depicts political issues in her work, but more frequently utilizes more conventional materials such as bronze.
The Keel, Kemal Tufan, Turkey, Stone
The Keel is also interesting. It is a gigantic installation that seems to blend in perfectly with the environment. In fact, the mosses on the forms make the art become even more one with the land.
Tufan generally uses natural materials such as stone, marble, granite, wood, and metal.
A view of the rings of the tree turned to stone with time
Finally, as a tree lover, I want to share Petrified Wood which consists of large pieces of tree trunks that are petrified. Looking at the stone that at one time had been part of a living plant showed how the natural world can be one of the most talented artists.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing some of the pieces that we were able to enjoy at the Chianti Sculpture Park. Let me know which one you liked best in the comments below. I'd love to hear what you think.