A World of Art at the Florence Biennale

Through October 16, this year’s Florence Biennale contemporary art fair at the Fortezza da Basso will host more than 400 artists from over 70 countries around the world, all competing against each other for the international prize “Lorenzo il Magnifico.”

Not in the competition but on display will be the jewelry collection known as Quietude. Funded by the European Union and made by the research and innovation project H2020-Wear Sustain-2017, these accessories are made for women with various levels of hearing loss. The jewelry translates sounds into vibrations so that those who wear them are able to detect voices and sounds through the body.

This year’s theme, eARTh – Creativity & Sustainability, aims to protect and respect our planet whilst creating and developing new innovative works of art. In doing so, the organizers hope to promote a sustainable future for creativity. Accompanying the exhibition will be events such as conferences, lectures, workshops, musical performances and video projections.

Florence Biennale welcomes all types of artists at various stages of their career, from professionals to young students, to even artists with disabilities. eARTh includes the following artistic categories; graphic design, calligraphy, painting, mixed media, sculpture, ceramic art, textiles, photography, digital art, video art and art jewelry.

Some of the participants include artists such as a handicapped Danish painter who designs with a paintbrush in her mouth as opposed to her hands and an Israeli photographer whose pictures are based on the theme of peace. This event is as interesting for the public as for the artists themselves, as it is a chance for everyone to make contacts from all over the world.

On Friday, Oct. 13, Ghanaian artist El Anatsui will also be awarded for his peculiar ‘bottle-top installations,’ metallic cloth-like wall sculptures, made of aluminum and sewn together with coppered wire. The artist is closely linked to the ethos of Florence Biennale, highlighting the effects of consumption and waste on the environment through his works.

There will be one winner from each of the 12 art categories and each one will receive the prize Lorenzo il Magnifico, created by Florentine artist Mario Pachioli. The awards ceremony will take place on the last scheduled day, October 15, at 10 am. (karen gee)