Artist Installs Giant Hand Sculptures in Venice Canal to Highlight Climate Change

May 16, 2017

This colossal pair of hands emerges from the waters of Venice to support the walls of the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel that lies right along the Grand Canal. Entitled ‘Support’, this monumental sculpture was created by the Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn to raise awareness about the consequences of climate change in the city. The Halcyon Gallery exhibits the artwork and photos of the installation and the images and videos below were posted by Quinn on his Instagram account.

Yes!…so happy to say mission accomplished. SUPPORT in Venice to support this wonder of city that is threatened by climate change. I hope my art brings a new focus of attention to a global calamity that we are faced with. A big thank you to the city of Venice and to his Mayor Luigi Brugnaro for believing in this installation from the beginning, to Ca’ Sagredo hotel represented by Lorenza Lain (the force of Nature) to C and C architectural Studio, Fulvio Caputo, Marco Zanon, Ufficine delle Zattere, Luisa Flora, Tecmolde, Julio and Irene Luzan and the entire team, She Digital, Grupoo Orseolo with Rein srl and the Gondolieri of Venice. To my super team in Spain at Quinn Creations To my family, my wife and especially my son Anthony for letting me use his hands, and of course to @halcyongallery , representanted by Paul Green, Udi Sheleg and assisted by Shani, Helga and all in the gallery, because without their continued organizational, moral, artistic and financial ‘support’ none of this could have happened. #biennale2017venezia #biennale2017 #lorenzoquinn #lorenzoquinnartist #venezia #halcyongallery #support #supportart #climatechange

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

The rising water levels in Venice

The launch of the artwork coincides with the opening of the 2017 Venice Biennale, an international art exhibition taking place until late November in the northeastern Italian city. The ‘Support’ sculpture aims to raise awareness on the gradual surge of water levels in Venice due to climate change. Lorenzo Quinn expresses his deep concerns about the calamity the city is currently faced with.

“SUPPORT in Venice to support this wonder of a city that is threatened by climate change. I hope my art brings a new focus of attention to a global calamity that we are faced with”.

A big thank you to all for your comments and likes. It’s been overwhelming. I wish I could thank each and everyone of you individually. This sculpture ‘Support’ placed in Venice at Ca’ Sagredo, coinciding with the opening of the Venice Biennale, wants to speak to the people in a clear, simple and direct way through the innocent hands of a child and it evokes a powerful message which is that united we can make a stand to curb the climate change that affects us all. We must all collectively think of how we can protect our planet and by doing that we can protect our national heritage sites… Support our planet support our heritage! A warm hug, Lorenzo THE INSTALLATION WILL BE AT CA’ SAGREDO UNTIL NOVEMBER 26th a #halcyongallery #casagredohotelvenice #lorenzoquinn #lorenzoquinnartist #biennale2017 #LorenzoQuinnVenice #support #supportart #worldheritage #worldheritagesite

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

At the moment, the mean water level in the city is at least 25 cm above the zero reference level. Alarmingly, this level is often at or above what is officially considered as a very high tide, which induces chronic damage to buildings and structures. As the issue of climate change continues to persist, scientists are able to approximate what the future sea level rise would be and what it would mean for Venice. A conservative figure of 50 cm rise in the mean water level relative to the city is foreseen to be reached by 2100. With this level of flooding, the city’s buildings and fabrics would undergo degradation at a rapid rate.

Yes!…so happy to say mission accomplished. ‘SUPPORT’ in Venice to support this wonder of city that is threatened by climate change. I hope my art brings a new focus of attention to a global calamity that we are faced with. Art in ‘Support’ of art: Venice is now the art capital of the world during the Venice Biennale but the city of art is threatened and needs our help and protection. ——A big thank you to the city of Venice and especially to its Mayor Luigi Brugnaro for believing in this installation from the beginning, to Ca’ Sagredo hotel represented by Lorenza Lain (the force of Nature) to C and C architectural Studio, Fulvio Caputo, Marco Zanon, Ufficine delle Zattere, Luisa Flora, Tecmolde, Julio and Irene Luzan and the entire team, She Digital, Grupoo Orseolo with Rein srl and the Gondolieri of Venice. To my super team in Spain at Quinn Creations To my family, my wife and especially my son Anthony for letting me use his hands, and of course to @halcyongallery , representanted by Paul Green, Udi Sheleg and assisted by Shani, Helga and all in the gallery, because without their continued organizational, moral, artistic and financial ‘support’ none of this could have happened. #biennale2017venezia #biennale2017 #lorenzoquinn #lorenzoquinnartist #venezia #halcyongallery #support #supportart #climatechange

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

Artist and environmental advocate, Quinn said that everyone must be involved in taking care of our planet and important heritage sites.

“The sculpture wants to speak to the people in a clear, simple and direct way through the innocent hands of a child and it evokes a powerful message which is that united we can make a stand to curb the climate change that affects us all. We must all collectively think of how we can protect our planet and by doing that we can protect our national heritage sites”.

Almost there…

A post shared by Lorenzo Quinn (@lorenzoquinnartist) on

Protecting Venice from floods

The Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico (MOSE) project is a protection program that defends the city of Venice and the Venice Lagoon from flooding. It’s an integrated system that consists of rows of mobile gates that can temporarily isolate the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea during high tides. The project is devised to defend Venice and its lagoon from tides of up to 3 meters.

[Image Source: Juan Rubiano via Flickr]

The Venitian water and local authorities are also doing their part in protecting the city from flooding by raising quaysides and paving around the area. Floodings are particularly detrimental to the heritage of the city as wash and waves cause the structures to erode and subside.

Lorenzo Quinn’s ‘Support’ sculpture is not just a piece of art – it represents the strong support the city needs in order to preserve its rich and vibrant heritage. It is home to the Venetian Gothic architecture with influences from the Byzantine and Ottoman era. These architectural styles are unique to this part of the world and must, therefore, be protected to safeguard the remnants of that particular Renaissance period in history.

SEE ALSO: This Fountain by the Famous American Sculptor Spews Mercury Instead of Water

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