Giuseppe Penone: Idee di pietra – Olmo

Initially this appears like any other tree in the woodland, before our eyes are drawn up to see the boulder held high within its branches. The tree’s tall, elegant, and leafless form is actually cast in bronze. Although it appears somehow weightless, the stone is a found river boulder, that has been naturally shaped by the motion of water over innumerable years, rather than being sculpted. Suspended between the earth and the sky, the stone takes on a new significance, brought about through a new and unexpected context. Balance, poise and tension are all at play in this gravity defying work.

Idee di pietra translates from the Italian to ‘ideas of stone’, and Penone likens the shaping of the boulder to the process of thought and idea generation. The sculpture embodies the symbiotic relationship between art and nature, inviting us to think more carefully about both.