Whitechapel Gallery & OPAL Urban Ecology Dig

Vinnie has helped to organise a collaboration between Whitechapel Art

Spazio di Luce by Guiseppe di Penone

Spazio di Luce by Guiseppe di Penone

Gallery, the Open Air Laboraties Network (OPAL) and some London schools on December 8th, 2012.

This day will involve a diverse group of young people, including A-level Biology students, taking a square metre of turf from a local park back to the gallery and examining the sample. Any creatures found will be identified by scientists from OPAL at the Natural History Museum, London. The creatures will be photographed and their images will be used to form part of a community artwork.

Whitechapel Art Gallery are hosting this event as part of the Bloomberg Commission exhibit by Giuseppe Penone. Over the past 45 years, Italian artist Giuseppe Penone has examined our relationship to nature. For the latest Bloomberg Commission, he has created a twelve metre bronze cast of a tree, with a radiant gold-leaf interior, which spreads across the columned gallery.
At first sight Spazio di Luce (Space of Light), could easily be mistaken for the straightforward life-size cast of a large tree. However, where once there was a tree now there is a void. The inside of the cast replicates in minute detail the tree’s bark while the finger prints on the outside safeguard the memory of the many hands involved in the sculpture’s making. The gleaming gold inside the tree pays tribute to the life-giving forces of light.
At the same time, the fusion of bark and hand prints alludes to the inseparable bond between humankind and nature. Penone was part of the legendary group of Arte Povera, which called for a radical rethink of society through making works directly appealing to the senses and challenging common conventions of artmaking.
The installation is accompanied by a yearlong programme of talks and events exploring the rich relationship between nature and the city, of which this workshop is part.
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