Lo sommo Ben ... (The supreme Good ...)

2021 - Sasso di Bordighera - Irene Brin’s Garden

Materials: 4 inflatable spheres, 3750 limonium stalks with flowers, 100 Hydrangea, foliage of Hedera helix for a total spherical surface of 90 sqm.

Dimensions: m 35 x 6 x h max 3,5.

“Lo sommo Ben, che solo esso a sé piace,
fé l’uom buono e a bene, e questo loco
diede per arr’a lui d’etterna pace.”
(Dante, Purgatorio, Canto XXVIII, vv.91-93)

Maria Dompè returns to Sasso di Bordighera in IRENE BRIN’S GARDEN: a place of tangible magic where in 2009, for about two years, she was able to express all of her landscape creativity by shaping an evocative green oasis.
The reason for her return visit is Vincent Torre’s invitation to create an ephemeral environmental intervention for the event: A DANTESQUE EVENING AND AN IMMERSION IN ART organized by the FAI (Fondo Ambiente Italiano) on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri.
The FAI program of the evening inside the Garden planned for three artistic-literary moments: Gioacchino Logico recited the XXVI canto of the Inferno completely inside the perimeter of Maria Dompè’s environmental sculpture: “Virtute e Conoscenza”, directed by Eugenio Ripepi; Gian Antonio Dall’Aglio commented on canto XXVIII of the Purgatorio, which is what inspired the ephemeral intervention; Maria Teresa Verda Scajola presented Maria Dompè’s work. An excerpt of this eloquent presentation follows.
As Ernest Gombrich wrote: “Making precedes imitation.”
“Before feeling the desire to imitate aspects of the visible world, if artist they are, they have felt (by instinct) that of creating independently . . . and even the process of imitation proceeds through stages of schema and correction . . . every artist must know and construct their own schema with precision, before they can adapt it to the requirements of the reproduction of the real.”
And it is here that the garden of art dedicated to Irene Brin, (already a vegetable garden planted in rows amid dry stone walls), is reinterpreted between 2009/2011, with instinct and professionalism by Maria Dompè.
The Artist treated with accuracy and great respect the memory of Irene, for history, culture, exalting her “viriditas” (vitality), for an embrace of nature that protects, creating with precision and delicacy, the spirit of contemplation, for a garden of enchantment… an Eden?
NATURE is the protagonist of a representation of symbolic value.
This is a new vision of environmental art, based on a sinuous garden with dunes and mounds, modulated with tons of earth, to frame the sculptural insertion, as to reduce the impotence of historical architecture, already tendentially dominant, and to promote, instead, the simplicity of a geometry, even if dismantled, as the Doric column, (of “Virtute e Conoscenza”, Virtue and Knowledge) protected and enhanced by the grassy vegetation — here the marble sculptures do not overcome the landscape.
It is as if Maria Dompè wanted to indicate to Dante on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of his death, the long path of life in nature, setting up a floral Work of Art, ephemeral and fascinating as a fragrant wellspring, for an eternal Poet.
The objective of the Artist, Maria Dompè, is to reaffirm with her strong instinct a recovered harmony between man and nature in search of a new art, a spiritual one, that looks to infinity . . . beyond the horizon!”
(Maria Teresa Verda Scajola).
Maria Dompè, in her words, defines the artistic intentions of the ephemeral installation.
“… for the environmental intervention I had some images in my mind: a chromatic explosion, an eulogy to Nature, a Dantesque dreamlike vision of a different world . . . substantially cause for reflection. The sphere is the playful instrument par excellence, the most classic representation of the light-heartedness of human life. Nature in all its varied and harmonious forms, invites a simple and playful approach. The contemporary man has lost the naturalness of enjoyment and play which can help to dilute uncertainties and doubts, drastically reducing any anxiety. The carefree approach is a true behavioral philosophy: concrete, positive and enhancing. Dante had this sensitivity towards Nature, considered as one of the highest expressions of Creation and the verses contained in the Canto XXVIII of the Purgatorio: “The Supreme Good (God), whose joy is only in himself, created man good and disposed to benevolence, and gave him this place as a prelude to eternal peace” are verses that exalt, by means of sublime and seductive poetry, this objective and fundamental axiom for human spirituality. It was my intention to celebrate, first of all, Dante: the Supreme, and then Nature emphasized by this historical garden, particularly dear to me for the memory of a significant female figure: Irene Brin, and finally “man” with the need to emphasize the forgotten potential. After such an especially challenging period, isn’t it time to reflect? To understand the mistakes made for having exaggerated the egoism of the human species? I would like us to rediscover a more equilibrated appreciation of Nature in order to face the future with greater respect for all of Creation and also to recover the spirit of play, with the serenity that accompanies it. So even the weight of the daily world, so often difficult, would become lighter and perhaps sustainable, just like a sphere!”