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PROPOSAL #08 MARCO ZANIN

Rural Cathedrals

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In every European country, during the 20th century, agriculture as a principal economic sector progressively gave way to industry and the services sector. In some areas this occurred more quickly, as in the Veneto, in the north-east of Italy, which in the 1960s and 70s transformed from one of the poorest regions into one of the wealthiest.
And so, in the hurry to forever escape from the 'condemnation' of the land, a place of hardships and fatigue, a deep fracture was created between the rural millennial civilization with its rites, rhythms, and ethical and ecological values and today's, youthful, industrial and post-industrial civilization.

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platformgreen paesaggio rurale architettura rurale fotografia di paesaggio estetica del paesaggio3

The rural Cathedrals are the vestiges of this fracture. These are not religious buildings, but farmhouses where the families of farmers who cultivated the land lived; or rather, cathedrals, symbols of the sacred bond that people in the past knew how to establish with the land. An ancient relationship, to be remembered once again in the modern day.
Places in the fog, where even in the obscurity of forgotten memory, there is a sacred room where the sounds are muffled, details and context lost, but where we can sense their soul.

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For all the images: Cattedrali rurali, courtesy the artist
This news was published in the context of spontaneous reports that come to Platform Green. For more information about the sending process of your project or work, please, go to the "Contacts" or “About” area.

76. OF SOIL AND WATER

THE KING'S CROSS POND CLUB

'Of Soil and Water: The King's Cross Pond Club' is the first public man-made swimming pond in the United Kingdom; it can accommodate up to 163 bathers per day. Living with water is an ingrained part of London's everyday life. The King's Cross Pond Club is a public art project commissioned by King's Cross Central Limited Partnership. The project was initiated by the 'Relay Art Program'.
Created by the artist Marjetica Potrč and located on the King's Cross Central Development construction site in London, is a micro-ecological environment with a natural swimming pond at its centre. The temporary available land is transformed into a place where visitors can take a swim next to aquatic plants cleaning the water.

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THE POND
The pond consists of three different zones: a swimming zone, a regeneration zone and a plant-filter zone. The water is purified by a natural process using water plants, nutrient mineralisation and a set of filters on the edge of the pond that supplement the natural filtration. The pond is free of chemicals. When it is being cleaned, the water loops back to complete the water cycle. This is a closed-loop system. However, the loss of water through evaporation is automatically replenished from the main water supply, which is also filtered. The daily number of bathers is restricted by the amount of water the system is able to clean. Thus, the use of the pond remains in balance with what nature can absorb and regenerate.

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THE SOIL
The soil zones around the pond range from an area of meagre soil and pioneer plants to a meadow area of rich soil where lush grass with wildflowers and shrubbery. The plants are chosen according to the specific types of soil. As they grow at their own pace, they clean and enrich the soil. Here, day after day, season after season, year after year, visitors can observe, experience and enjoy an environment rich in biodiversity.

THE NATURE THEATER
The enclosed site presents the natural environment in miniature, a landscape in motion, a theatre of ecological cycles: the water cycle, the plant cycle, and the soil cycle. It is a mise en scène of the processes that occur between humans, water, soil and plants. All life starts in water. Plants move from water to land; they grow and move across the land, fertilise the soil, and eventually die. The sensual experience of swimming in the pond allows people to enter the narrative of the site with ease. By swimming, walking around the pond, playing and resting on the grass, visitors participate in a living laboratory that reveals nature's ability to restore itself. The project gives them the opportunity to learn about the resilience of the ecological system through their own direct experience.

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THE STAGE OF THE ANTHROPOCENE
When we swim, we feel weightless and free. It is a rejuvenating experience. By dipping their feet in the water and taking a swim in the man-made natural swimming pond, visitors effortlessly enter into dialogue with the Anthropocene Age. This term refers to the current geological age in which human activity profoundly changes our relationship with nature: we become co-creators of new natural processes. In 'Of Soil and Water: The King's Cross Pond Club', the pond is a relational object, creating a relationship between swimmers and the ecosystem of the site. The elevated pond becomes a stage where the swimmers perform the balancing act of coexisting with nature. From this stage, they can watch the evolution of the surrounding neighbourhood and the ever-changing city, where new possibilities and new possible futures are being born.

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Courtesy of the images: the artist

75. FELT PLANT COLLECTION

YOU FEEL AT HOME WHERE YOU GROW YOUR PLANTS

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Alocasia L & S, 100% wool felt, color: pink-salmon/ brown/red, courtesy Wandschappen

Wandshappen is a design studio, founded by Nicole Driessens & Ivo van den Baar in Rotterdam Charlois, The Netherlands.
As designers they develop products, based on visual art concepts, transformed into producible designs. Their love for textiles and crafts leads to high quality handmade designs; their most famous collection consists of Felt Plants, Felt Vases and Felt Wall Objects.
The idea of the plants started with a concept about migration in the neighborhood where Nicole and Ivo live and work. The area, called Charlois, is a notorious part of the city of Rotterdam, where people from all over the world (often refugees coming from war zones) try to start a new life. At the moment people start to decorate their new homes and buy plants the neighbors know the newcomers are staying.

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In order: Sanseveria, 100% wool felt, color: emerald/ curry/ dark turkoois; Alocasia S, 100% wool felt, color: red (nr.06); Bouquet di Pasqua, 100% wool felt, color: purple–yellow (nr.24- nr.02); Installation view at Salone del Mobile 2015, Milano. Courtesy Wandschappen

That's why Wandshappen uses the slogan: "You feel at home where you grow your plants".
Wandshappen has developed the Felt Plant Collection as an icon of this migration phenomenon, that has a large influence on the development of the city of Rotterdam.
Since 2001 the Felt Plant Collection has been shown all over the world. A large group of (interior) architects and design retailers collaborates with Wandshappen to develop projects in which the Felt Plants are integrated. All the products designed by Wandshappen are handmade, unique and of high quality.

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In order: Shape! contrast, 100% wool felt, color: brown (nr.16) pink (nr.76); Shape!, 100% wool felt, color: L. grey (nr.37), designer: Wandschappen i.c.w. Elly Kroon.
Slide: Refelt Folklore Vase, 100% wool felt; Courtesy Wandschappen

74. FIORONI

SOLID WOOD BEYOND THE TRADITION

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Rascana, anonymous design, re-design Guscetti Studio. Image courtesy Fioroni

Fioroni is a company based in the heart of the Central Italian Alps on the border with Switzerland, surrounded by a natural environment of considerable charm, where original artisan woodcraft traditions still survive.
In an ideal and inspiring place dedicated to the research and development of ideas, fioroni builds prototypes in its laboratory working collaboratively with a team of architects and designers.
Its great craftsmanship is the result of over 50 years' experience in working with wood which started in the first family carpentry business.

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Làres, design act_romegialli. Image courtesy Fioroni

Fioroni is a new brand for the production of quality furniture and furnishings with a creative contemporary design inspired by tradition. This has consistently produced collections, which- far from being temporary trends - are both innovative and timeless.
Ideal shapes in refined proportions, creative ability and high quality materials. A brand with an original philosophy, which opts for the exclusive use of solid wood and the finest raw materials.
The careful study of detail, together with our production controls allows us to offer the customer high quality furniture combined with extremely affordable prices.
Fioroni presents a collection of new products complemented by the comfortable and elegant reinterpretation of a design element taken from an anonymous tradition.

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Tintan, design act_romegialli. Image courtesy Fioroni

PROPOSAL #07 STAIN PROJECT

The new aesthetic of beauty

A set comprised of eight different spill patterns digitally configured and woven into fine Spanish unbleached cotton and linen napkins that, with use will acquire ongoing patina as evidence of conviviality. The unsustainable and totalitarian classic white napkin with its pretense of perfection is toppled by Stain, napkins with which to embrace smears and dabs both for their beauty as well as your record of life well lived.

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Photography and textiles are both built from particles thus there is a natural collaboration between these two methodologies. With the rise of digitally interfaced production, these two material outputs are able to communicate directly. The spill patterns were digitized directly as photographic images and then returned to a material modality as they were woven into a textile. Woven into cloth, these stained motifs invite the real stains of use to build up and create new patterns of their own as they track a life lived. This notion of a stain rejects the modernist aesthetic of whiteness in its tyranny over all that is no so, instead, celebrating a lived history.
Aesthetic positions have a real world impact. Table linens maintain their whiteness through bleaching after each use, releasing a constant, daily flow of toxic chlorine into the environment.

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Embracing the aesthetic of the stain provides an alternative model that does not rely on the allusions of whiteness, and thus does not need daily bleaching. What we do in our personal lives, the food we eat, whether purchased or gardened, the clothes we wear, the cleaning products we use all have wide and deep-reaching affects on our world and all of us who inhabit planet earth. By paralleling our aesthetic choices with our political and moral beliefs we will shift our engagement with, and impact upon our planet.
As two artists working on this project outside of corporate structures and funding, this collaboration has led Laura Letinsky and John Paul Morabito to explore materiality and the relationships between art and design, photography and textiles, and extend their individual practices. Letinsky and Morabito are seeking funds so as to produce these napkins and also to provide the means for their ongoing collaboration in their investigation of the tensions between aesthetics and ethics in art, labor, and life. 

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*Courtesy of the images: the artists
This news was published in the context of spontaneous reports that come to Platform Green. For more information about the sending process of your project or work, please, go to the "Contacts" or “About” area.

73. MARION BELANGER

morphologies and scenarios of the present

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Marion Belanger, from the serie Fault, 2008-2012, courtesy the artist

Andrea Lerda
Where does your interest in landscape issues originate?
Marion Belanger
I grew up in Connecticut manufacturing valley that was home to one of the most polluted rivers in the country. There would be streaks of red, blue and green chemical waste from the factories swirling into the water, and the air would be so toxic that my eyes would sting and tear. Beyond the manufacturing valleys, much of the landscape was pristine and beautiful. There were clearly economic factors pertaining to how the land was used, how it looked, and who lived upon it. The transition from the polluted to the pastoral was quite sudden, and at a young age I understood that ideologically, landscape is complex, and economically influenced. My passion for the landscape originates with those childhood experiences.

I photographed that same river this past year. The loss of manufacturing and the onset of beneficial environmental regulation transformed the river from a toxic waterway to one that is much cleaner and greener. It is a paradox that while the loss of manufacturing has allowed the river to become healthier, the people struggle without jobs, and towns have not yet attracted new industries.

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Marion Belanger, from the serie Fault, 2008-2012, courtesy the artist

A.L.
To photograph is a means to portray; to bring something to the light; to report an event or a specific situation or context; to encourage an interest in place. What else in your opinion?
M.B.
Photography is as much about one's imaginative space as it is about the outside world. The combination can create a unique narrative, one where concept, form, and content shape meaning and elicit emotion. While my practice is research based, my photographs are like words in a poem in that the visual narrative invites the viewer to actively engage intellectually, subjectively and visually. Art by its very nature raises questions, it provokes, it gives us beauty, but it does not give us answers.

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Marion Belanger, from the serie Rift, 2006-2009, courtesy the artist

A.L.
Why talk about landscape today?
M.B.
We all know the terrible state our planet is in, and a healthy interdisciplinary dialogue is crucial. The built environment is like a reflecting pool into our culture – our desires, dreams, and fears all become manifest within the landscape. By default, landscape today is a political discussion - even when it is not intentionally so. There is no way around it. Humans are so rapidly transforming the planet - altering the atmosphere, changing the chemistry of the oceans and biosphere, and trasforming the earth in significant ways. With this reality it is impossible to photograph the landscape without coming up against environmental concerns – often times for the worst, but not always.

A.L.
What aspect of landscape are you most interested in? The natural context of the environment? It's morphological and geological characteristics? The relationship between humans and nature?
M.B.
Landscape study is a forum for understanding ones place in our complex world. My photographic work is concerned with how the geologic and cultural landscapes intersect. I am interested in how people live within their environment. Similar to the anthropologist, I look for cultural traces of use and evidence upon the land. I love the mundane, the everyday. There are few grand moments or significant events in my photographs. While research may inform my picture making, it does not dictate it. So much depends upon the light, and what I see in front of the lens.

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Marion Belanger, from the series Fault and Rift, courtesy the artist

A.L.
How did you become interested in tectonic plates?
M.B.
While photographing in the Florida Everglades, a landscape very much in crisis, it became clear how past land use decisions had wrought environmental damage to the point of near ecological collapse. Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans had also occurred during that time, and that had a huge impact upon me, especially as I had lived in New Orleans (previous to Katrina) for years. I was thinking about the engineering of nature, and questioning also the very existence of wilderness, now so reliant on human management. While researching geologic phenomenon I read, Krakatoa and A Crack in the Edge of the World, by Simon Winchester. Winchester writes beautifully about geology and tectonic plate theory. I had been interested in boundaries upon the land for some time, and the tectonic plate edge seemed to be a perfect forum in which to explore my concerns. Within the land, boundaries are often contested and politicized. Yet tectonic plate edges spread, move, erupt, and tremble. Their behavior is for the most part is highly unpredictable, and wholly uncontainable. Two kinds of boundaries are inherent to tectonic plate edges – one exists where two plates meet, and the other is the ground itself, between the invisible, primal urges of the earth, and the lived upon landscape above. Conceptually, I was drawn to the tension between the seen and the imagined, and the two edges of the North American Tectonic Plate beautifully accomplished this. In California the San Andreas Fault offers little visible evidence of the plate edge, and the ordered built environment seemed to ignore the actuality of the land. In Iceland, the unstable, raw earth, steaming hot water, and hot lava made it impossible to not acknowledge what was below. The dramatic landscape was a constant reminder that one should travel with caution. The dichotomy creates a visual tension that questions the uneasy relationship between geologic force and the limits of human intervention.

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In order: Marion Belanger, Rift serie; Fault serie, courtesy the artist 

A.L.
What is the power of landscape photography in today's context?
M.B.
There has never been such an interest in landscape photography as there is now. Partly this could be because the future of the planet (and us as a species) is so precariously tenuous. The proliferation of online forums, blogs, and magazines (like Platform Green) has allowed for a more democratic sharing of information, which is very exciting. Photography and technology have always been entwined from the beginning of the medium. Planet Labs, a young company from California has invented small, nimble and inexpensive satellites named the Dove (https://www.planet.com), which work like a line scanner for the planet, creating a unique data stream every 24 hours. The opportunities for utilizing this kind of landscape photography is absolutely revolutionary and very exciting.

A.L.
Finally, which are your future projects?
M.B.
The series Extinct and Newly Found (working title) are photographs both of extinct plant species from the Everglades National Park specimen collection along with newly identified lichen species. In the last forty years half of all wildlife on earth have become extinct, and thousands more are at risk. To find new species is a lovely thing. Open Space, an ongoing project, portrays the rapidly disappearing farms and green space around where I live. Additionally, I am in the research stage for a larger scale project, but I think it too premature to write of it now. Finally, I am always open to collaborations, and other unexpected opportunities.

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Marion Belanger, Landfill, courtesy the artist

PROPOSAL #06 POST-LANDSCAPE

ON POST-DEMOLITION MATERIALS

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Post-landscape, courtesy From Outer Space

Post-demolition materials are the contemporary result of demolitions or buildings and infrastructures restorations. It mainly consists of ceramics, concrete, bricks, mixed aggregates (gravel, sand), hard coatings (marble, granite).
The recycling plant usually divides the incoming material into three main flows: stone (95%); metal fraction (0.1%); junk fraction (paper, plastic, wood, dirt, etc.). The production of aggregates from recycled materials, both in Italy and in Europe, represents only a small percentage of total post-demolition material.
In Italy, recycled aggregates constitute 1.4% of the total aggregate products. The demand of post-materials with low performances is quite high, approximately 40% of the total demand of aggregates.
Post-demolition materials are so considered part of the larger category of waste. But we should consider it as a new resource. If used in an alternative way, it can also respond to many technical and aesthetic requirements.
«Terrazzo alla veneziana» was made with scraps. Why don't we believe in the potential of this waste?
From Outer Space's research is based on the reuse in an innovative way of so-called post-demolition waste materials. Giving a new life to this material is a good social and environmental practice, but also a way to don't forget the past.
The studio started this research in the occasion of LOWaste for action program, of which we have been part in 2014, promoted by Assessorato all'Ambiente del Comune di Ferrara, with La Città Verde, Impronta Etica, Hera, RReuse and with the support of the Life+ Programme of the European Union. The primary objective of the LOWaste is to decrease the local production of waste through the development of markets for reused and recycled products. Starting from this occasion From Outer Studio developed three main projects: Recreo Project; Ritorneraj and Post-landscape.

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platform green demolizioni rifiuti ceramica cemento materiali riuso materiali di recupero sostenibilit


01. RECREO PROJECT

concept and research Ferrara — 2014
design team: Anna Paola Buonanno, Serena Vinciguerra, Stefano Nafissi with the support of: Città verde soc. Coop.Sociale, Paver spa, LIFE+ LOWaste for action

RECREO is a product designed for the realization of dry costructions, producted with low budget, and giving the possibility to be dismantled and reused.
RECREO is created by a mixture, obtained with post-demolition materials and concrete.
The various aggregates were selected according to the size: therefore each panel will be unique, thanks to the presence of impurities (bricks, sand, marble and more).

02. RITORNERAJ
concept and research Milano — 2014
design team & art direction: Anna Paola Buonanno, Piergiorgio Italiano
with the support of: Città verde soc. Coop.Sociale (Ferrara)

The Italian cities struck by the earthquake.
In recent decades, we are becoming aware of how a single catastrophic event (an earthquake) may call into question the very concept of the city: the center, the home, public place and so on. We believe, to reverse this trend, we must first reactivate the places that still have open wounds, villages struck by the earthquake, now ghost towns.
To do this we decided to work on residues of these disasters: the ruins, rubble now difficult to recover.
The project aims to give a new life to the stones accumulated in landfills due to natural disasters, turning them into objects, memories, witnesses of a dead architecture.
Any selected stone will be cut in a regular solid, size 10x10x10cm.
In this way the useless stone returns to be useful, not as a functional product, but as a symbol of hope and rebirth, integrating itself in our horizon of everyday objects.

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Ritornerajcourtesy From Outer Space

03. POST-LANDSCAPE
a vision for post-demolition materials Milano — Ongoing
concept: Anna Paola Buonanno, Piergiorgio Italiano

POST-LANDSCAPE is an innovative vision to reuse building materials after demolition, now considered waste. Relying on researches and experiments made in prior periods, we believe it's possible to create a new material: a mixture obtained by adding a post-demolition material to a colored binder.

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Post-landscape, courtesy From Outer Space 

This news was published in the context of spontaneous reports that come to Platform Green. For more information about the sending process of your project or work, please, go to the "Contacts" or “About” area.

72. LES ANGLES

DIAMONDS AND QUASICRYSTALS MADE OF FELT

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Les Angles is a project by Stéphanie Marin, that was recently presented in the show Goodesign – The Natural Circle, at Cascina Cuccagna in Milan.
The main protagonist is the felt: a natural material that comes from the use and processing of animal hair. It is not therefore a fabric, but became so thanks to the fiber's felting process that generates an extraordinary material with very sustainable properties.
The project is an interesting elaboration of a seascape: blue waves design the space and are modelled in order to provide rest and relax.
But it could be even a sky to touch with hands; a sea of clouds on which to find refuge and peace.

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Les Angles are at the same time a seating solution and structuring elements for living spaces. They form a set of geometric cushions which easily fit together to transform in seats for individuals or groups.
The different elements of Les Angles fit together to form a pavement inspired from the mathematic research of Roger Penrose on the solid plan.This pavement uses two sorts of diamonds for base. The shapes they take is necessarily non-periodic, giving them a singular and attractive look. Going against received ideas, Dan Schechtman discovered in 1982 that order could be found outside the notion of periodicity in the form of quasicrystals. Almost 30 years later in 2011, he received the Nobel Prize of Chemistry for his discovery.

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For all images: Les Angles2015, courtesy Smarin design

71. VICTORIA STOIAN

CODRI EARTHQUAKE

Who said that an event so terrifying and devastating as an earthquake must necessarily evoke gloomy and sad dimensions? The project "Codri Earthquake" by the young Moldavan artist Victoria Stoian, recently presented at the Alberto Peola gallery in Turin, is a multicolour but at the same time personal and poignant tribute to the biography of a people as well as to the fierce beauty of nature which can dramatically change lines, colours and entire lives in a single blow.

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Victoria Stoian, Codri Earthquake 44", 2015, cm 90 x 140, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin

As the title of the project suggests, the works represent the chaos and the instability produced by a natural catastrophe, more precisely the earthquake that hit Moldavia in 2011. Of that experience, which affected her family, the artist remembers, "The 25th August 2011 at 4:30am the country was struck by a violent earthquake of 7.5 magnitude, whose epicentre was at a short distance from Chisinau, where I was born and raised. Two successive seismic waves, lasting a total of 52 seconds, left thousands of people homeless, destroyed power lines, wrecked roads and railways, shattered dams, flooded villages and caused dangerous chemicals spills. The Codri, the largest forests in Moldavia, were severely damaged by the event".

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In order from the top: Victoria Stoian, Codri Earthquake 46", 2014, cm 170 x 150, acrylic on canvas; Codri Earthquake 42", 2014, cm 185 x 115, acrylic on canvas; Codri Earthquake 43", 2015, cm 200 x 300, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin

As Clara Sofia Rosenberg wrote, "A visual repertory is thus created which is suggestive of nature's vitality – from Earth's magma to sea currents and abysmal landscapes – as well as of body imagery – from cell reproduction to filaments, globules and nerve endings.
When dealing with collective themes which revolve on human beings' relationship with their history and their land, such as an earthquake or migration, the artist transforms a highly autobiographical subject into an open, flexible and universal space".
The works already produced and showed represent only a part of a bigger work in progress made of 52 pieces that will complete the project over time. Each painting corresponds to a specific unit of time of the earthquake: the second. 52 seconds is in fact the exact duration of the earthquake that devastated the Moldovan territory.

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In order: Victoria Stoian, Codri Earthquake 8", 2015, cm 90 x 80, acrylic on canvas; Codri Earthquake 23", 2015, cm 75 x 70, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy Alberto Peola Gallery, Turin

70. ICELAND15

Travelling at a slow pace through nature, peoples and cultures

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Iceland15 is part of a bigger project called Frostscape, which aims to talk about nature, peoples and different cultures in an innovative way. The journeys that the project aims to achieve are all slow and local, designed to immerse themselves in the place visited and explored, thus becoming part of everyday life, manners and habits of people, in order to go beyond cultural limitations and stereotypes.
To satisfy this vocation is born Iceland15, a solo trek (self-sufficient) long about 800 km; destination: Iceland, the land of ice and fire. The Travel Expedition has been planned to start on July, 30th 2015 ending on September, 1st 2015, with shifts almost entirely on foot and a tent like a house.
Through the National Park Vatnajökull, Mattia Vettorello will dive into the Icelandic landscape diversity, made of volcanoes, glaciers, lava deserts, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and craters.
Askja, Snaefell, Lónsöræfi, Joekulsarlon, Skaftafell, Fjaðrárgljúfur, Maelifell, Laugavegur Trekking are the stages of the journey that will end in Vik, after meeting people, traditions, places, emotions, and different natures.

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frontscape mattia vettorello esplorazione nature iceland thoreau trekking

A journey that starting from the figure of the explorer, decide to reread his role. Man as a modern adventurer, who decides to award to his own travel introspective and anthropological connotations, that can be of help to himself and to other people.
This is the goal of Frostscape ad Iceland15: be alone immersed within wilderness in order to be able to descover again the intimate relationship between nature and man, arriving at a point to fully understand our beautiful and wise planet.
Because nature does not belong to us. We belong to nature.

frontscape mattia vettorello esplorazione nature iceland thoreau trekking1

frontscape mattia vettorello esplorazione nature iceland thoreau trekking


"Let me live where I want, on this side there is the city, that way there is the wilderness, and more often I leave the city and I forwarded in nature."

Henry David Thoreau, Walking, 1851