“Believing in a place of worship and aggregation, where there is only nature with its strength and silence; contemplating the sky and praying, each one in his/her own way, or just let the thoughts flow, being inside the work” these are the words that Giuliano Mauri, Italian Art in Nature artist, uses to talk about his Cattedrali Vegetali – plant cathedrals –, the first of which he built in Arte Sella (Borgo Valsugana, Trento) in 2001; the second one, begun by the artist and completed by his family in 2009, is located in Parco delle Orobie (Bergamo).
Born in 1938, Mauri, lived and worked in Lodi until he died in 2009 leaving several unfinished projects which he described in what is considered his artistic will. This included the design of a plant cathedral to be built in a specific location near his hometown. In 2010 the family proposed to the municipal administration to realize Mauri’s project. In 2014 the necessary found were raised thanks to the Lombardy Region and many private sponsors; and in May 2016 the construction of the wooden structure began on the left bank of the river Adda, in an area known as “ex Sicc”.
The Cattedrale Vegetale occupies an area of 1,618 square meters and consists of 108 columns of wood – with a diameter of 1.20 m –, each of which houses and guides the growth of an oak tree; it is about 18 m high, 72 m long and 22 m wide. In time the trees will replace the wooden structure forming a real plant cathedral.
On Sunday, April 23 at 16:00 the Cattedrale Vegetale di Lodi will be inaugurated with the participation of the art critic Philippe Daverio and a concert of Franchino Gaffurio.
Ilona Catani Scarlett