Earth under your feet

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Plastic, metal, cotton
00X00 cm


Walking around the streets of Palermo can be surprising. You can find yourself unexpectedly in front of the atelier of an artist where sculptures are shaped, or more precisely, where creativity is the compass of any thought.
In Via Pacini, challenge is something we really like and we take it very seriously, for instance when the artist Gabriella Furno realizes a Giraffe of 7 meters. The Giraffe will be displayed during the Geometrie Naturali festival at Poma Lake.
A Giraffe of 7 meters is not just challenging itself, it becomes even more challenging if it’s realized with the cooperation of immi- grants and made of plastic: two main characters of today’s social and political scene at global level.
«it’s walking around the streets that you can get the inspiration» she says often. And the streets of Palermo are full of immigrants and, unfortunately, of plastics.
Immigration and plastic are both phenomena suggesting reflection. Would you ever think of using the packaging of detergent for laundry to do Art? In today’s world, we are totally lost in the rapidity of the digital age, which is not going to stop soon. Thus, Gabriella Furno creates a symbol, which is thought to be in contrast with this mood of living.
In fact, the Giraffe recalls our mother earth which is for everybody also the image of eternity.
This sculpture represents a way of thinking that takes place between the antiquity and the contemporary world. Only a creative thinker would pro- pose a Giraffe as a “contemporary animal” which can connect us to our roots. But at the same time her very long neck represents the departure for our future, giving some vision to us for the next few years. The Giraffe with the spotted coat, which can seem imperfect is in fact perfect and can give you the opportunity to think that tomorrow, but also today, it must be li- ved with diversity and cohesion together. It’s our differences that brings the wealth of tomorrow. To underline this thinking the Artist creates a performance which tells us of the eternity of the future.

Sicily has been in the past the junction point of different cultures and religions. It’s incredibly geographical position gives her the opportunity to be a protagonist of this history. The island reminding us of the relationship and connection between the Middle East and Europe. Today, in 2018, Sicily is telling us a new story: the search for a better future for those who immigrate.
They don’t want to tell us what really happened and they want to forget but still, you can feel and perceive the feeling of something hard. They all risk their lives and they know better than anyone what existence really means, having been many times in grave danger.

They all want to create and participate in and be a part of something, and that is what we are trying to do here in the studio of Gabriella. There are three immigrants working with the Artist.

In the beginning there was only Destiny who was working on the project, but the Sculpture became so big that she needed more people, and now they are three.
They all have a life full of suffering and it’s a very long journey for them, almost infinite.
They deserted their country were life was impossible, to leave to go to an unknown country, in the hope of continuing their own lives. To arrive and survive they had some incredibly hard moments in leaving, that we can compare to this beautiful painting of Gericault The Raft of the Medusa.
The three immigrants working with Gabriella are all from Nigeria and in different ways they tell us of their personal “hunt for existence”.
Lucky, the last one to arrive in the group risked her life in Libya. Luck, as in her name, saved her. Jossy, to have a better life, had to leave behind her children in Nigeria. Destiny departed Nigeria because they wanted to kill him.
It’s very difficult to talk about this exile. For a long time, there were only questions and no answers. What gives us some reaction today are the movements of the body and also the expressions you see on their faces. They hide suffering and a hardness, but at the same time you can feel they are full of life and energy. They want to do, to create.
Working together with an artist, they have the possibility to express themselves and to be part of something powerful.
In the Atelier of Gabriella Furno, there is always an energy, rich of ideas. There is always a smile on each face, as a medicine against the sadness and suffering.
With the picture of the Giraffe and her very special coat we could start to think of our stories from this moment on, that now should be under a sign of cohesion and peace.