the silk route

Made for the Comune di Pontedera (Pisa), the work is mounted on a 95 metre long board and is composed of 9 elements in synthetic materials and fibreglass. The ultimate aim is to replace these studies with identical works but in valuable materials such as bronze and marble so as to show how the work evolved.

The entire project has the backing of the local council, the Fondazione Piaggio and its curator Dino Carlesi.

the concept

To appreciate the concept for the work we must step back in time to the 12th and 13th centuries, to the simple daily life of that period when the choice of goods available was rather monotonous. Then the New World was discovered as well as other countries and this broadened our outlook on life. We have known about the silk route and the subsequent exchange of knowledge and culture since Marco Polo’s day.

Pontedera stands at the crossroads between the sea, port and inland at the north-south crossroads connecting important cities. Exotic goods were shipped from distant countries and were taken through Pontedera to arrive in Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Volterra. The extremely old route of the Via Francigena was also used.

Using form and colour the figures represent this enrichment of daily life. It should be remembered that in times gone by Sunday was a day of rest. Most of the citizens spent the day in the fields and the little information that was available was circulated by story-tellers and players. The colours are those of the treasures that could be admired in the churches and cathedrals. Fabrics, jewellery and clothing showed off the wealth and power of the Ducal courts.

The symbols represented here seem to arise from modern imagination. However the sculptor wants to evoke a comparison to the mummers’ plays in the Middle Ages that were held in churches and public buildings.