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Soil Art exhibition "Heart and Soil"

Experimental in nature, interdisciplinary by definition, it challenges how an exhibition can be made out of dirt

“Heart and Soil” is an Art - exhibition about the intersection of contemporary art and soils which took place at FAO headquarters in Rome from 20 to 22 June 2017. Soil is crucial for food, fibre and fuel production, ecosystem health and sustainable development. There are many areas in the world where soil is at risk of being lost to erosion, soil sealing or damaged by contaminants.

Embedding soils into art explores how seven international artists from different walks of life move into a deeper examination of the importance of soil in soil painting, sculpting and mark making using soil as a source material or a pigment. 

The exhibit was opened on the 20th June as a side event to the Global Soil Partnership Plenary Assembly – 5th Session.

Photogallery  |  Global Soil Partnership Plenary Assembly, 5th Session

In the media : ANSA  |  RaiNews24

In an age of growing sense of environmental responsibility, practitioners from the scientific and artistic fields have become increasingly curious about the methods and research areas of the other. Artistic creation, complementary to scientific research, enables to better comprehend  the daunting consequences that damaging and degrading our soils will have for generations to come, indicating that the time has come for moonshot-like effort to restore the root of all prosperous civilizations: Our soil, the skin of the Earth.

“Heart and Soil” art-exhibition addressed the following expressions: contemporary arts, music and video performance. 

The artists have collaborated pro bono with FAO for this temporary exhibition:

Concert | Micol Picchioni

The harp is an antique instrument that has been represented many times in ancient and contemporary art.

This instrument has strings stretched vertically and appears to us suspended between the sky and the soil. The sound is particular and creates an enchanting atmosphere of great emotional impact within the “sounds of the earth”. 

Ri-Generation | Francesca Lolli

The wild boar heals its wounds rolling in the ground, using the soil’s antibiotic elements.

The artist interprets mother nature and has wounds on her body: she clutches the ground, becoming one with the soil, to nourish and heal.

Watch the trailer

Cruel colors | Rossella Pezzino de Geronimo

The works of the artist are photos shot dangerously close to an erupting volcano.

With time, lava becomes fertile soil. This is a positive and spectacular interpretation of an event that nature generously offers us.

Untitled | Roberto Mannino

The artist has worked with various natural materials, giving them new life.

Fertile ground is given the chance to take on a new creative form.

The strokes communicate that nature is in a continuous state of flux/transformation.

The artist engages with nature and becomes its testimony.

Spill | Roberto Mannino

The artist used burnished graphite to communicate an urgent need: to reflect on pollution.

Black takes on a negative meaning. The artist’s message is explicit in signaling a great danger that man must recognize and change.

Carousel | Roberto Mannino

The title of the work leads the spectator to something positive: the carousel, leisure time and lightheartedness.

The element that distinguishes this work is the irony the artist uses to solicit the audience.

Artistic reflection is important: we cannot celebrate and forget.

Pollution is depriving us of an important element for our survival: the soil.

Trust | Alessandro Rabboni

The photograph represents a moment of a journey the artist undertook in the recent past, when he found himself in danger because of a landslide, and was saved by a small group of children who showed him the way to safety.

This work contains all the poetics of the artist. Children will save the earth and will show us the right way.

The wounds of the earth | Angelica Romeo

The artist has worked with various natural materials, giving them new life.

Fertile ground is given the chance to take on a new creative form.

The strokes communicate that nature is in a continuous state of flux/transformation.

The artist engages with nature and becomes its testimony.

The suffering green | Angelica Romeo

In this piece, the artist focuses his attention on a lawn crushed by the wheels of a car, and on the cement that suffocates the ground.

The theme is exploitation of the soil by indiscriminate cementing, until the soil resources have been exhausted.

The green color of the lawn and the gray asphalt cement separated by a straight line indicate the need to save the ground.

An SOS launched by art to save the soil that belongs to us.

The uncontaminated groove | Angelica Romeo

The psychological meaning of white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion.

White contains an equal balance of all the colors of the spectrum, representing both the positive and negative aspects of all colors.

Its most basic feature is equality, implying fairness and impartiality, neutrality and independence.

The artist communicates that each of us should dig within ourselves to find the right path to a purity of intent to adopt the most useful practices for the preservation of the soil and our survival.

Work | Alfredo Macchi

In 2008 during a journey to Iran, the artist photographed bricks in a quarry.

This photo’s essence contains rigor and elegance, and gives the audience the opportunity to interpret it in different ways.

Togo | Alfredo Macchi

Alfredo Macchi shoots a scene of life that can be subject to double interpretation.

The house made of mud and clay welcomes a child in the hands of his mother.

The soil is the mother of all of us, it welcomes and gives life in a continuous cycle.

Life | Alfredo Macchi

Out of a drained river, the earth breaks down and appears lifeless.

The artist photographed in Perú sprouts of grass that emerged between the cracks and changed the landscape.

Where there is life in nature, man knows that he can live.

A barren landscape becomes a place of beauty.

The Soil's gift | Quirino Cipolla

Sculpture retains and transforms nature.

The artwork brings the dead root to life in the form of a human face.

Nature and man are inextricably linked. Man identifies himself with nature continuously, and the artist wants to show us this: soil concerns us.

Hands for ground | Quirino Cipolla

The man holds the world in his hands and tries to protect it.

In this artwork, Quirino Cipolla aims to show the opportunities nature offers to improve our position.

In fact, the different positioning of the hands indicates that a different combination of actions could change the current nature of the world.

Into the soil | Quirino Cipolla and Angelica Romeo

Quirino Cipolla created the artwork for the exhibition with the artistic support of Angelica Romeo.

Both friends and esteemed colleagues worked on a canvas to animate the art exhibition concept.

The sculpted man enters the canvas. The artist urges man to enter the soil in order to save it from degradation.

The ground created by Angelica Romeo screams with pain, retaining all the wounds man has given to nature.

Evolution | Quirino Cipolla

In the lower part of the artwork we can see roots, indicating our origins.

Trapped in them are technological materials.

Man tries to unravel himself, looking for freedom.

The man cries out from pain: he needs both nature and technology.