Monday, August 8, 2016

Art in the Wilds of Chianti

Sculptures in the Forest

Hidden in the hills about 14 kilometres north of Siena, is a small but interesting sculpture park. Privately-owned and run by a cultural association, the park was opened in 2004. Its founders, Rosalba and Piero Giadrossi, bought and converted seven hectares of wood formerly fenced for raising wild boar.

horribly kitsch, this installation does raise a smile at the park entrance
Except for the amphitheatre area near the entrance, the park is really a wilderness; which makes it all the more interesting. Evergreen oak (quercus ilex) and other oaks, cistus and broom provide a shady and sometimes colourful setting for thirty-odd sculptures and installations.

the Mondrian-influenced ticket-office and shop; even the parking area has a hint of artfulness about it

 Sculptures appear in and from the woods and most reflect the natural world in stone, wood, iron and glass, seemingly emerging from the surroundings; at times they are almost submerged. You can miss them.
Blue Bridge, Ursula Reiter Christiansen, Denmark: this piece will be placed on the roof of the visitors' centre, framing nearby Siena
The amphitheatre is an installation in itself but doubles up as an open-air theatre for concerts and other events.

The dappled shade of a late afternoon visit, while enhancing the works, does not do wonders for the photographs. On the other hand it would be a shame for me to spoil the park for the potential visitor by revealing too much at once. And the semi-visible effect does serve to evoke the slightly mysterious atmosphere which pervades the park.
influenced by Henry Moore, Island by Kim Hae Won of South Korea

Energy, made of glass, by Costos Varostos, Greece

Twist, Neal Barab USA
The Suspended Stone, a travertine arch, for contemplation, by Mauro Berrettini, Italy

marble V through which to view an ancient, multi-trunked oak beyond: Harmonic Divergence by Swiss artist Jaya Schurch
Limes installation denoting borderline between civilized and wild by German artist Johannes Pfeiffer
oak leaf of layered glass, Falling Leaf by Yasmina Heidar, from Egypt

Unfinished Building, gateway of iron and polished granite by Cor Litjens, the Netherlands

Leapfrog, part of a series in granite by Zimbabwean artist Dominic Benhura
The artists come from all continents and both hemispheres.

Labyrinth, glass-walled maze. Jeff Seward, UK. Most of the installations either fit in with or pay tribute to their location through the materials with which they are built. This is one of the exceptions and arguably the most successful of the exceptions
By Argentinian artist Barrera Fontenla, For the Freedom of the Press, this is the only sculpture which is overtly political
 Corner of White Wood, Nicolas Bertoux, France

Off the Beaten Track by British artist William Furlong, these cubes contrast with nature's randomness through their form and their function as loudspeakers for Tuscan urban soundscapes
Although some of the installations are more successful than others, it is clear that all artists have attempted to construct and locate their pieces meaningfully within the forest-park. Each artist was invited to choose the site for her/his work and submit a proposal in keeping with the environment.
In a sense the most significant and striking of the works: petrified logs from Java, over 20,000,000 years old, 'sculpted by nature' as it says on their plaque

Appealingly, the influence of the park has overflowed into the village of Pievasciata. Along the access roads to the park and at the gates to the village itself, murals and installations make intriguing and seemingly casual appearances.The village has proclaimed itself a B.A.C : Borgo di Arte Contemporanea, Village of Contemporary Art. 
We did not have time to explore the village, nor La Fornace, the restored terracotta workshop (found opposite the entrance to the park) which is now a contemporary art gallery hosting exhibitions, but we intend to do so and report back soon.

Lack of Communication, Piero Giadrossi, Pievesciata
 Chianti Sculpture Park
Pievesciata, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Siena
- best to use a GPS system inserting Pievesciata and following the signs from there as different routes abound. Or: GPS:Long.E. 11° 22' 53" – Lat.N. 43° 23' 36"
 If coming from the north we suggest a drive along the utterly charming Traversa del Chianti, Chianti Crossing route.
daily from 10 to sunset, 
but call if planning to visit between November and March: +39 0577 357151 
There are guided tours but also an excellent app, available on the website

Park visit:
10 euros for adults, 5 under 16s  

Concerts (programmes on website):
 10 euros adults, 7,50 under 16s
Park visit plus Concert:15 euros adults, 10 under 16s   

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating! Interesting how most of the works are in conversation with nature either through the use of materials or chosen subject matter. The floating stones denoting the borderline between nature and civilisation express this relationship imaginatively (Limes)...
    The glorious leapfrog sculpture is so joyful, a contrast between solid material and fluid motion!


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