Il Fiore del Deserto

Il Fiore del Deserto” – 2023


Dolomiti, October 2018
Walking in the woods of mount Avena, I was shocked by the extent of the uprooted trees still lying on the ground after the passage of storm Vaia. Silent giants dyed ashen white and deprived of any life or colour. Majestic creatures with immense roots lying in the sun. A graveyard of good titans who silently screamed at humans not to forget what had happened.

Venice, November 2019
The sirocco wind was rattling the window panes. The rain was beating so hard I could not speak in the house. The plants all around were bent by the fury of the gusts. In Venice, the sea was invading the narrow streets, turning from hour to hour into a frightful torrent that carried away everything it encountered on its way.
Silvia Canton

Il Fiore del Deserto (the flower of the desert) is a project that links on an axis running from the Vaia disaster that devastated Comelico and the Acqua Granda that submerged Venice. These two symbolic events connect in Treviso through Silvia Canton’s creative, artistic, and scientific research, giving rise to an exhibition that focuses on urgent contemporary issues.

The title of the exhibition is inspired by Giacomo Leopardi’s famous lyric, La ginestra – or Flower of the Desert. This plant represents the human struggle to overcome suffering. It is a poetic and artistic metaphor for the extraordinary capabilities inherent in human beings. It grows in impervious sites such as volcanic and desert environments, yet it is beautiful and fragrant. The flower becomes a practice of endurance, gentle but inexorable. It is drawn with the paintbrush and fuelled by recycled materials. The exhibition is a symbolic space of humanity’s tragic destiny, and even more it represents the present manifestation of our reality. More and more frequent are fires, floods and exceptional hailstorms alternating with extreme droughts, landslides and mudslides, water stress caused by high temperatures and exacerbated by our need for water, the spread of invasive alien pests such as the bark beetle, that is feeding on storm-damaged forests.

Almost four years have passed since Acqua Granda and nearly five years since Vaia. During this time, awareness and sensitivity have increased, but not the practical and emotional reaction to the scale of the climate crisis affecting the planet. The multimedia intervention Se i boschi, un giorno… e se i mari, un giorno… by Paolo Spigariol with soundtrack by Giuseppe Laudanna, evokes the disruption of such disasters, as a means of reflecting the urgency that Il Fiore del Deserto aims to convey. The clip combines testimonies from the project Aquagranda, una Memoria Collettiva by Ca’ Foscari University D.V.R.I. (Venetian district for research and innovation) and the photographic film Clorofilla. It is now clear that the cause of all this is also due to the arrogance of human choices, requiring more and more serious awareness. Nature is unleashing devastating atmospheric phenomena ever more frequently, and renewed balances must be sought and found under the banner of personal and collective responsibility.


Acqua granda

Silvia Canton - Artista e pittrice a Castelfranco Veneto, Italia


Via Garibaldi 29,
Castelfranco Veneto (TV)
P.iva 03919010268

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