Sometimes you see some things at the Biennale that appeal and that is how I felt about the little Azerbaijan Pavilion which focused on music bringing people together in spite of other differences. The balalaika sculpture was just lovely and the perfect sphere created by a wide variety of musical instruments says a lot without words.
I included the Gold leaf ginormous pole – just because I can!
We got to see a fair bit of glass art on this day – I like the medium of glass so enjoyed this a lot but it is very difficult to photograph. What intrigued me is how many different ways the medium can be and is displayed – as you can see it is not only about glass vessels.
Top right and cover photo artist shows what you can do with glass and a lot of imagination. The glass looks almost soft and furry but actually it is made up of thousands of tiny pieces of broken glass. (No health and safety concerns when it is art – obviously.)
The top left and bottom right is the Australian glass artist Roslynd Piggott who etches into multiple layers of glass which are then displayed like paintings. Impressive for her to get a gig in Venice although sadly as glass is not really taken very seriously as an art form in Australia she has to work out of the US
The Venice Biennale began in 1934 and every second year showcases an artist who represents their country in a variety of old palazzos, deconsecrated churches and other historical buildings around the city. There are two main places to see a variety of pavilions (Giardini Gardens and the Arsinale).
First stop at the Giardini was the Australian Pavilion (of course). Tracy Moffatt was representing Australia and her photos and videos are very evocative. One of the better country exhibits making points about her aboriginal background and also today’s refugees but not (too) overly in your face.
Next a visit to the New Zealand Pavilion at the Arsinale. I loved this. It’s a really wide screen showing continuous scenes related to the British landing on Maori land – whole thing lasts about 40 minutes. Beautifully shot and an extension of other works this artist (Lisa Reihana) has done over the past few years. Mesmerizing. Well done NZ.
Main reason for this Italy trip was to finally see Venice during a Biennale. Never been to a Biennale and last time I was in Venice was for one day when I was about 22 – and it poured down. It’s been sunny here so far.
We are spending each afternoon at different Biennale exhibits so I will showcase these and save the Venice pics for the end of the trip. But here is me arriving on day one by water taxi having taken the train from Bologna – so excited to see this amazing and magical city.
This was my favourite exhibit of day one – from Andorra. Lots of clay pots in every colour imaginable – reflecting the human race. It had a wow factor as soon as you walked into the space.
Then on to an artist who does silk screen on mirrors which means you end up part of the art. I liked his Cuban works in particular. Those people seem to pop out of the mirror. Not sure about the pile of clothes but it is colourful:).
Finally a pretty nifty glass exhibit. Hundreds of solid glass bricks in wild colours. Playful and engaging.