Il Giardino nel Giardino: Scala Santa (The Garden in the Garden: Holy Stairs)

2008-2009 - Rome, Passionate Fathers, Holy Stairs PERMANENT INSTALLATION

Materials: earth modelling, stone, lawn, garden plants.

Dimensions: m 55 x 40 x h 1,5.

Located in one of the principal places of Christianity, the garden of the convent of the Passionate Fathers of the Holy Stairs is one of the works realized by Maria Dompè. The installation materializes the results of years of research the artist has undertaken to express a mediatory strategy between western and eastern cultures.

The space becomes a place of meditation, where desires and thoughts are annulled, in an intimate process of re-discussion of oneself in contact with Nature, a relationship which today we increasingly feel the necessity.

The work is the culmination of the long restoration of the garden, which took place in the space, with a new plastic modelling of the terrain, and the pre-existing tree species, integrated with floral plantings; during the restoration work fragments of ancient material came to light: including capitals, grindstones and marble slabs, all of which was re-used and re-invented into a green neo-landscape.

The fulcrum of the work is the majestic tree positioned at the centre of the area; Maria Dompè has channelled the energy that it gives off into a grassy soft and malleable carpet of dichondra repens , which permits with its round shapes to recreate a wave-like arrangement. The ellipsis of blue hydrangea, which delineates the end and the new beginning of the wave, is bounded by a hedge of green bamboo that protects this “place of the spirit”. In its elliptical progression, the garden is shaped like “a mandala.”

From four observation points defined by Maria Dompè by means of recovered marble slabs, which are positioned like the boundaries of a sacred enclosure, the audience is invited to meditate; the noises of the city soften in an oasis of silence in which not only thoughts and desires converge, but also the admiration of the beauty of nature cradling and satisfying the spirit in a vision of contemplation.

Cinzia D’Agostini