Art after the fire in Montiferru: in Siena an exhibition by Michele Ardu with the olive trees destroyed by the great fire
“Aurum Urens” will be open to visitors until 10 July
From the flames of the great fire that devastated Montiferru and Planargia here is art, a sign of true rebirth, in an exhibition that can be visited in Siena, in the exhibition space of the Magazzini del Sale museum, located inside the Palazzo Pubblico, in the very central Piazza del Campo.
To create “Aurum Urens”, this is the name of the exhibition, was the artist from Oristano Michele Ardu, who has lived in London for about ten years, but who recently decided to get closer to home and now lives in Sardinia and the rest of the world.
In Siena there are 31 natural sculptures made by fire and by the hand of Ardu and 15 photographs, all in color. On display are the remains of burnt olive trees, wood blackened by the passage of the fire, but also other cleaned and gilded wood. “Aurum Urens” plays on the contrast between gold, a symbol of rebirth, and ash, which instead represents destruction. On the one hand, life, on the other, death.
One of the canvases portrays the sea of Santa Caterina di Pittinuri. Ardu invites visitors to touch a burnt centuries-old root with their own hands and then the photo, in order to leave a black imprint on a canvas as a sign of closeness. The artist thus decided to remember when, after the rains of November 2021, the sea of the hamlet of Cuglieri was blackened by the ashes of the great fire downstream from the water.
The exhibition, inaugurated on June 9th, will be open until July 10th. The social promotion association Oristano e Oltre and the Municipality of Siena supported the project.
Last weekend the “Aurum Urens” exhibition was even included in the program of visits by the director general of FAO (the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization), Qu Dongyu, in Tuscany on the occasion of Siena International School of Sustainable Development 2022, higher education school on sustainable development issues, this year dedicated to the theme of decarbonisation and the reduction of CO2 emissions.
The idea for the exhibition was born almost a year ago. At the end of last summer Ardu visited the places crossed by the fire together with the journalist Nicola Pinna, with whom he edited a report on the damage of the fire for a national newspaper.
“The objective of ‘Aurum Urens’ offers museum visitors food for thought”, said Michele Ardu, “it is important to understand how much damage a fire like the one that hit the Oristano can cause. Many messages of appreciation are arriving from Tuscany which demonstrate the interest in the subject “.
The burnt wood exhibited in the Magazzini del Sale comes all from Cuglieri, where the flames have swept away centuries-old olive trees and put even the millenary olive tree to the test. A large part of the material was made available by Mario Franco Fara and the family’s olive grove. Olive wood called by fire was also donated by Cesare Pes and his family. Walter Pinna, on the other hand, created the custom-made marble bases.
In the exhibition space in piazza del Campo, with access from the Cortile del Podestà, you can also read the texts by Francesca Campana, who edited the critical notes of the “Aurum Urens” project, and Nicola Pinna.
The exhibition is the first of a series of works by Michele Ardu that will not focus only on Sardinia, also because the tragedy of the fires is global. “I will work to create ‘Aurum Urens’ parks in various places, replanting, thanks to the support of collectors, at least part of the nature used”, explained the artist, “and I imagine in the future to create an exhibition with the large burnt trees arrived From all over the world “. Meanwhile, after Siena, “Aurum Urens” should stop in Sardinia.
Monday, June 27, 2022
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