Terra Vivente, the Living Earth, is an artistic journey designed to explore the richness of the soil as both the inspiring muse and the material to create with. The exhibition, developed and enriched this year from last year’s Vitalità, gathers a body of artists who, in a variety of languages, are moved to interpret their relationship to the earth. On the one hand the earth itself becomes art, explicitly in the ceramics, sculptures and paintings, leading to an immediate sensual experience, and on the other the earth observed and transcribed in the language of photography and painting portraying the abstract beauty of the land and prehistoric animals considered both in the detail of the near view and also from far.
The exhibition, a cultural project of the Comune of Volterra and the Cultural Association Vitalità, is realized in collaboration with Velathri Art Gallery and the Cum Quibus Restaurant of San Gimignano. It will be exhibited principally in the underground gallery attributed to the great architect Antonio da San Gallo the Elder, in the Pinacoteca Civica of Volterra and the newly opened venue of Velathri Art Gallery in San Gimignano.
“Earth, isn’t this what you want? To arise in us, invisible?
Is it not your dream, to enter us so wholly there’s nothing left outside us to see?
What, if not transformation, is your deepest purpose?”
– Rainer Maria Rilke
TERRY DAVIES CERAMICS
Ceramic artist Terry Davies was born in the United Kingdom. Following an extensive training in the historic Leach tradition, he travelled widely on a voyage of discovery and study, taking him to some of the world’s greatest ceramic centres. He settled in Tuscany 20 years ago where his pottery studio is located on a hilltop overlooking Certaldo. His experimental approach to texture and form has won him many international awards and exhibitions, with his ‘pelle d’elefante’ technique receiving much praise. The look and feel of this distinctive finish is that of cracked or burnt earth. Davies shares his passion for ceramic art with the public in the form of large-scale experimental kiln firings often using recycled materials, such as glass bottles and paper, taking place in piazzas around Italy and drawing crowds in the thousands to the main squares of Lucca, San Gimignano, Firenze and Faenza. These unique cultural events are an alchemical fusion of earth, water, fire and air.
ULE EWELT SCULPTURE
Ule Ewelt was born in Germany, she lives and creates in the countryside of Grünberg, Hesse. She studied geography and city planning, then turned her attention to ceramics in 2003. Since 2011 her art is purely figurative and focuses on the representation of animals. Our near neighbours since the beginning of human existence, animals elicit images, memories, feelings and associations in intense and often highly symbolic ways. They figure in all mythologies. Early humans were latecomers in a world shaped and dominated by animals constituting not only a source of food but also a dangerous threat. Delving into the archaic animal representations in the fabulous caves of Lascaux and Chauvet in the south of France, she made the relationship between humans and animals at the time of the origins of humankind the central focus of her work. She came deeply to admire the way our prehistoric ancestors captured in just a few lines the inner nature of the animals they drew. It is centrally important to her to capture the internal motion of the animals she draws in a dynamic snapshot. In her work strives to build a mental connection with archaic forms of presentation.
KACPER KOWALSKI PHOTOGRAPHY
Kacper Kowalski, a Polish artist, lives and works in Gdynia, Poland. Having previously worked in architecture, Kowalski chose to devote himself entirely to flying and photography. As both a pilot and photographer, he takes meticulously detailed aerial pictures of diverse natural and urban environments. His captivating images of forests, fields, lakes and open countryside trace industrial damage and the changing pattern of the earth. His evocative photography and striking drawings have received numerous awards, including the World Press Photo Award (2009, 2014, 2015), the Picture of the Year International POYI Award (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), along with many others. His first photography book, “Side Effects” was published in 2014 and won the prestigious Best Photography Book Award in the Picture of the Year contest. Last year he released his second book “Over”, rigorously monochromatic even if photographed in colour. Photographs from both projects are displayed all over the world.
CARLO ROMITI PAINTING
Italian artist Carlo Romiti, was born in Castelfiorentino and graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. Carlo Romiti lives in the countryside between San Gimignano and Volterra where the local ‘terra’ (soil) provides the material behind his striking contemporary works. Carlo Romiti’s thought-provoking works are created using the natural colours offered by the chromatic array of the soils, meticulously chosen to represent the land where he lives and works. Romiti’s powerful and fervent pieces are created using earth he collects from the land where he lives. His depictions of landscapes and animals are his means to rediscovering the ancestral part that dwells within each one of us. A director of a theatre workshop at the Visual Arts Centre in Certaldo since 1987, Romiti has collaborated in the publication of texts and arts research at the Facoltà di Magistero at the University of Florence. He also teaches painting techniques for the Educational Departments of the Uffizi and the Museum of Prehistory in Florence.
EXHIBITION IN VELATHRI ART GALLERY, SAN GIMIGNANO
PINACOTECA DI VOLTERRA MUSEO CIVICO
Since 1982 the Art Gallery or Pinacoteca is housed in the Palazzo Minucci-Solaini, a splendid example of late 15th century architecture traditionally attributed to Antonio San Gallo the Elder. Today the Art Gallery, which represents the most important section of the collection, is complemented by the Municipal Museum. The scope of the latter is to conserve and exhibit important works of art belonging to institutions which are no longer able to provide adequate care. The Deposition by Rosso Fiorentino is the most significant work from the collection. Other important works in the collection are paintings by Taddeo di Bartolo, Alvaro Pirez and Cenni di Francesco. There is also a noteworthy collection of medieval sculpture and ceramics, of medals (especially the Medici collection) and of coins.
The Art Gallery organizes conferences, seminars and temporary exhibitions in collaboration with other institutions, with particular attention to the city’s cultural heritage. Didactic activity aimed in particular at schools, offers guided tours of the museum for students at every level.
VELATHRI ART GALLERY SAN GIMIGNANO
Velathri Art Gallery’s mission is to promote art which re-evaluates and brings to the foreground of human awareness, experiences and the connection with nature. This unheard voice within contemporary art aims to reunite the artist and the public in observation, contemplation, and exploration of the living world. Velathri encourages artistic expression to experience and respect our belonging within the realm of nature, nurturing a dialogue between Tuscan and international artists. The aim of Velathri is also to create a dialogue between visual art and our other senses. Velathri Art Gallery, located in the area of Sant’Agostino, a most romantic part of San Gimignano, organises exhibitions and cultural events both here and in other exclusive Tuscan locations.
CUM QUIBUS RESTAURANT SAN GIMIGNANO
Cum Quibus was founded in 2005, from the idea of the Di Paolantonio family to introduce a quality catering among the culinary offer of the Tuscan village. Attempt that becomes certainty at the turn of 2014, with the entry of young chef Alberto Sparacino. 33 years old, born in Colle Val d’Elsa, with a worthy job behind him, between a training at the Arnolfo di Gaetano Trovato and relevant experience abroad at the Three Michelin Stars Daniel Bouloud in Manhattan. In a street away from tourist traffic, Cum Quibus embodies a style that is as eclectic as linked to the more classic and recognizable Tuscan “trade mark”. In 2017 the restaurant has got a Michelin star. Today it has created an extraordinary group of just thirty professionals with the same goal: excellence.
TERRY DAVIES CERAMICS
curated by Olga Niescier
Information and appointments:
Vitalità Cultural Association
Via Marconi, 19 (Piazza Sant’Agostino) | San Gimignano (SI), Italy
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.vitalitart.it
EXHIBITION ORGANISERS & PARTNERS: