La Palomba Sculpture Park
A few kilometres outside the bustling city of Matera you find an abandoned quarry with a permanently open, free for all sculpture park. The park exhibits works of the famous sculptor Antonio Paradiso.
The south Italian countryside is virtually littered with active or abandoned quarries used for extracting the prevalent limestone building blocks known as ‘tufi’. One of these quarries can be found on the SS7 just outside Matera, where it has been transformed into an open-air art exhibition.
We had to pass the quarry a couple of times before we found the place to stop. There are just a few parking spaces by the main entrance and no big sign by the road indicating the treasures hidden deep down in the excavation. This may explain how we could have the entire exhibition to ourselves even during the peak tourist season.
Fragments from World Trade Center transformed into art
The first sculpture to catch the eye was a VW Beetle, squeezed between two rocks and named Mausoleo a Icaro. As a sculptor, Antonio Paradiso likes to explore themes of flight, transformation and the interplay between human creations and the natural world. His ability to meld disparate materials into cohesive and evocative structures has earned him recognition in the art world. Along with admiration from audiences all over the world.
Antonio Paradiso was chosen among 9,000 artists vying for the opportunity to make art from fragments salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center after the tragic events of 9/11. He curated his selection personally, choosing a staggering 20 tons of twisted metal, steel beams, and bars. He turned the fragments into several works like the one called ‘Ultima Cena Globalizzata’ (The globalized last supper) with 12 contorted figures symbolizing the end as well as a new beginning .
Nature vs. Culture
Other sculptures in La Palomba Sculpture Park blend elements of metal, steel, stone and other materials to craft visually captivating pieces. There are boulders with intricate patterns, rusted columns, punched out birds on swirling note lines, two of three headed monsters encouraging us to protect nature, and cubes and stone spheres balancing precariously on edge. The impression is enhanced by the surrounding quarry with its high vertical walls that still show saw marks from the excavation of tufi blocks.
You will find Parco Scultura La Palomba along the SS7 3 km from the city of Matera in Contrada Pedale della Palomba.
Share this entry
Click here to add your own text