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Scalinata della chiesa di Santa Lucia ad Arzachena, opera di Fabio Petani 'Essenze di Gallura' (ph. Isabella Chiodino)
April 30, 2024

Essenze di Gallura, the new steps of Santa Lucia in Arzachena

Artist Fabio Petani tells us about his work that pays homage to nature, purity and the beauty of native plants

The art installation on the Santa Lucia Steps, a consolidated tradition in the historic city centre of Arzachena, was unveiled in March. An artwork presented with an evocative title, Essenze di Gallura (Essences of Gallura), was designed by Fabio Petani as a tribute to the nature of the place and its native plants. The artist, originally from Piedmont, is one of Italy’s leading creators of urban art. We caught up with him in Sardinia to hear about his work, which will remain open to the public throughout 2024.

Essenze di Gallura: what inspired this installation? What is the message you want to convey?

It was created to enhance the territory with my language, which has always been linked to botany and nature. I have narrated the essences of Gallura, which include rosemary, olive and myrtle, symbols of regeneration, peace and purity. They are the distinctive elements of this work, which also conveys a message of environmental protection and biodiversity, a statement against climate change. A call not only to Gallura but to Sardinia itself.

How did you create the artwork?

All the boards covering part of the Staircase were sanded down in a warehouse outside the city centre to bring out the wood, releasing it from several layers of coloured paint. We applied a coat of primer to prepare the wall, and I gave it a coat of water-based enamel. It was created in blocks by superimposing 6-7 steps at a time. We could say that I divided the staircase into sections, which, once assembled, create the effect of a single design, a sort of carpet accompanying the staircase. There are several elements on the way up. Indeed, on the right there is the silhouette of a rosemary, and at the top, near the Church of Santa Lucia, there is the olive tree, symbolising peace and recalling the fact that the artwork was installed a week before Easter.

Is there a common thread running through all your artwork?

Nature is always the founding element of all my artworks, and it changes according to the context. For example, I used myrtle because we are in Sardinia, as well as rosemary and olive trees for the reason I explained earlier. The narrative passes through plants, sometimes subtly and at other times more explicitly.

Where can we see your artwork?

I have painted all over Europe and Italy. Perhaps I am missing two regions. I have been fortunate to travel a lot.

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