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Botanica Emozionale


Botanica Emozionale

2020-2021, Santa Vittoria d’Alba (Italy)

mixed media 

In the context of Creativemente Roero, curated by Patrizia Rosello, the production also with the support of SAHA.


Botanica Emozionale (Emotional Botany) is a project on imaginary plant species that live by the sea. The idea of this process of investigation and imagination were originated from the notebooks of Carlo Bertero, an Italian physician, physicist, and botanist originally from Santa Vittoria d'Alba. He undertook long journeys in the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean at the beginning of the 19th century to discover new botanical species. He documented and described the flora of Chile, also devoted himself to investigate further on the islands of Juanández, and in Guadeloupe, Haiti, Puerto Rico, and Colombia, and lost his life during one of his voyages in 1831. 

Botanica Emozionale wishes to imagine the plants that the botanist wasn't able to discover,  and throughout the classes IV and V of the Primary School of Santa Vittoria d’Alba, it also relates to the urgent topics of plants extinction and climate changes. Seçil Yaylalı made a workshop with the school teachers on how the students could search for and imagine these botanical species. The classes discussed the travels of Carlo Bertero and made explorations in their surroundings, observing and looking for the local vegetation; then, starting from one specific, chosen plant, each student drew an undiscovered botanical species.

This work was then carried out by the pupils at school and resulted in a series of drawings, each associated with a word that describes an emotion. These drawings were then simplified and reworked by the artist, who created a series of logograms, used in the creation of two separate works installed in public spaces of Santa Vittoria d’Alba which are displayed permanently.

The first work, On the traces of never discovered plants, for which the symbolic images have been reproduced in three-dimensional objects in corten steel partly colored in turquoise blue, was installed on one of the external walls of the town hall. Each element of the composition projects its shadow onto the supporting surface, which constantly modifies depending on daylight, and gradually changes color, following the natural oxidation process of corten steel. The installation as a whole can be considered a living organism, which constantly changes over time. 

The second work, Serra, is a greenhouse that collects and houses the imaginary plants on its walls. It is now part of the garden of the Chapel of San Rocco, dedicated to Carlo Bertero. 

Moreover, the artist did a serigraphy workshop with the pupils involved in the project, where they printed on bags and t-shirts their imagined fauna.

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