The Park from its beginnings to the present day (curiosities and unpublished facts)
Here is a brief history of the park revealing various interesting things and some previously unpublished facts. Happy reading!
1994 The restoration of the La Fornace Art Gallery at Pievasciata had just finished and the husband and wife team Giadrossi bought 13 hectares of woodland on the opposite side of the road ( SP9). Part of this wood was already well fenced because it had previously been a wild boar farm!
1994 –1999 During this time the wood was little used, mainly for collecting mushrooms in season and wood for the La Fornace.
1998 During a trip to South Africa, Piero Giadrossi the creator of the Chianti Sculpture Park, visited a sculpture exhibition by Shona Artists from Zimbabwe in the Kristenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. Contemporary sculpture was already a passion for the Giadrossi family and they immediately saw the link between sculpture and the wood.
Bringing the dream into reality
In October Piero Giadrossi attended a course at the International Sculpture Center in New Jersey. The course focused on sculpture parks and in particular in integration of art and nature. Piero says:
“I checked with many delegates, curators and park owners, the validity of the project I had in mind and I realized that it was feasible. However, I did not realize all the related problems there would be and this was a good thing!”
In November the project was presented to Simone Brogi who was the Mayor of Castelnuovo Beradenga, our local Council. Piero reports:
“From the few comments that Brogi made I could see that he was not opposed to the idea. As we met subsequently to iron out the various problems, the Mayor was always very positive as we navigated the laws and complicated bureaucracy to bring the Park into being.”
2000 From January we began to investigate the various possible paths through the wood. Thinking about length, slope, vegetation etc.
One interesting problem was what to do about the small gorge that is about halfway along the route. Whether to go around it or to bridge it. It was decided to build a 19 Metre bridge that was strong, elegant and well integrated into the wood in terms of its colour and the materials used. We enthusiastically accepted the proposal of German artist Johannes Pfeiffer (see also ‘Limes’ by Pfeiffer), to use a hyperbola rising on one side and falling on the other. The structure was left to rust naturally and now appears like wood from a distance.
Once the decided route was marked out with red and white tape it was time to clear the undergrowth and small trees, always under the watchful eye of the Forestry Commission! This process took a couple on months and then at last it was possible to see the trail.
Finally the moment to install the works arrives!
October 2001 – April 2004
In the beginning the support and suggestions of a small group of art-loving friends, who thought the idea was ambitious but possible, was invaluable. Advice like:
“Don’t fall in love with a sculpture and then look for a place to put it in the Park. Invite the artist and ask them to choose a spot and then propose an artwork.“
And this is what was done! This concept was also proposed at the New Jersey conference. It obviously requires a lot of research and collaboration between the artists and installers and the necessity for the artists to travel to see the Park. Which they did, one by one! The success of the project to populate the wood with art was also dependant on a team of skilled workers and we would like to personally acknowledge:
Francesco Fosi, Woodcutter
Roberto Ciani e Paolo Papini, Bricklayers
Cesare Semplici, Carpenter
Mauro Rinaldi, Blacksmith
Stefano Mazza, Earthworks
Doriano Degli Innocenti, Electricians
These wonderful collaborators, despite having no previous experience of sculpture parks, made themselves available and thought on their feet. With typical Italian creativity and enthusiasm they arranged water and light, built hidden pedestals, and assembled works like ‘Energy, Faith & Illusion’, ‘The Blue Bridge’ and many others. In short they made the park happen! Their work was coordinated by architects Casacci e Cortigiani who were always on hand to resolve problems and was highly praised by the artists themselves.
“and also the ones that I, Piero created with ever changing ideas!“
2004 The first phase of the creation of the sculpture Park was completed and on 21st May we officially inaugurated the CHIANTI SCULPTURE PARK.
Artist group photo at the opening of the Chianti Sculpture Park
The story continues….
2006 Seven fibreglass figures are added to ‘The House in The Wood’ by Kei Nakamura.
2007 Installation of ‘The Labyrinth’ by English artist Jeff Sawood. One of the favourite interactive installations in the Park.
2008 Installation of ‘Falling Leaf’ by Yasmina Heidar bringing the number of female sculptors exhibiting in the Park to eight.
2009 Installation of ‘The Amphitheatre’ opening with a concert by the Siena Polyphonic Choir. This beautiful place will allow the public to enjoy concerts and other events in the years to come.
2010 First season of Musical Evenings at the Amphitheatre opens.
2014 National Geographic Magazine nominates the Chianti Sculpture park as one of the 10 best park in the world.
2019 We celebrate both 15 years since the birth of The Park and the 100th concert.
2020 There are many projects and dreams in the pipeline which we are passionately working towards. But it’s you, our visitors, who appreciate art and come and give your opinions and suggestions that drive us on. We thank you with all our hearts!