La sua arte allo squero di San Trovaso
The squero is the typical Venetian boatyard where the famous gondolas of the Venetian lagoon are made, but also paparini, sandoli, sciopòni and other traditional boats. There are only five in Venice, but the oldest and most famous is the squero di San Trovaso, in the Dorsoduro district: visitors will see a wooden construction more reminiscent of Alpine farms than Venetian houses. Dating back to the 17th century, this squero encapsulates all the wisdom, art and beauty of an environment devoid of epochal changes, influences and contaminations. Always a place of commitment and hard work, today it becomes the setting for an artistic exhibition thanks to the two sculptures by master Gianmaria Potenza, placed on opposite sides of the squero’s outer space. The two bronze statues, entitled ‘The Seed of the Future’, unite two versions of Venetianism, namely the sumptuous Byzantine magic of the master’s works and the vision of an entrepreneurial ability and ancient knowledge that is perpetuated in the present. The visceral bond between the artist Potenza and the places dear to him are necessary for his inspiration, and could not find a more representative and prestigious venue than the squero di San Trovaso. The uniqueness of the two sculptures, which can go unnoticed by the visitor so well integrated into the environment, leads art experts to a profound reflection on the two settings. Legend has it that in the year 809, Estrella, daughter of Doge Angelo Partecipazio, met King Pippin, son of Emperor Charlemagne, on a gondola whose name was derived from the Greek word Kondis (shell). Estrella hoped to negotiate peace but King Pepin refused and declared war on the Venetians. However, a tidal wave submerged the invading army and Venice was saved from plunder. The canal that was the scene of the victory was the Orphan Canal but the young Estrella, before landing in Rio Alto, was hit by the bullet of a Venetian catapult, which destroyed the gondola and made the Doge’s daughter disappear. It was there that the Rialto bridge was built, and from then on the noble families had their gondolas painted in their colours until, in 1562, a decree ordered that the gondolas be painted black, the colour of mourning out of respect for those who had died of the plague. An order that the squero di San Trovaso still respects today, heedless of the passing centuries.