... Suddenly I saw, in the midst of the manicured plots, large white gashes, as if a large hand had scratched the territory ... The cultivated soil was swept away, leaving the earth bare ...
The cracks reveal a long hidden past. Etruscan tombs emerged from the red wounds, Roman mosaics from the yellow ones, medieval fragments from the gray ones. Glimpses of vanished civilizations took the place of the present one ...
From the short story "Il Postino" by Roberto Einaudi
2001 Lucca (Italy)
Temporary garden for the “Festival di Arte Topiaria, Villa Grabau” organized by “Grandi Giardini Italiani” and sponsored by the firm “Martini e Rossi”.
Topiary, in decades a symbol of human control on nature by imposing to vegetation artificial shapes, has been reinterpreted in a contemporary key.
It is no more vegetation which has been modeled, but it’s the lawn surface itself that becomes molded material.
We have imagined a huge hand that scratching the soil tears ribbons of grass leaving the earth bare.
This act is not thought as destructive, but rather an anticipation of a deeper reading, stratigrafic one could say.
Historic gardens are, among “archeological” sites, the most vulnerable, places where it is necessary to intervene with the greatest care.
From the traces of bare land emerge fragments of pottery, acorns, cuttlefish bones….that remind us of worlds yet to be discovered…
Nature untangled in artificial shapes and coloured sands, paradigmatic elements of topiary art, reappear in this occasion with new meanings.