Venice, Italy, a well-known and popular tourist destination in Italy known for its famous canals, has been a direct witness to rising sea levels. In fact, as global warming takes effect, the beloved city is steadily slipping underwater.
Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn sends a chilling message regarding the threat with his latest sculpture entitled Support. The model features two 5,000-pound hands exploding out of the Grand Canal, clutching the walls of the historic Ca’ Sagredo Hotel.
— Halcyon Gallery (@HalcyonGallery) May 7, 2017
“I have three children, and I’m thinking about their generation and what world we’re going to pass on to them,” Quinn, who modeled the hands after those of his 11-year-old son, said in an interview. “I’m worried, I’m very worried.”
Unveiled on May 13th, his creation is not only meant to stun. “[It] is also a call for action — a plea to scientists, policymakers, and citizens alike to address human-caused climate change and its many impacts on communities and the environment,” explains Mashable. “Rising sea levels are pushing more water into Venice and coastal cities around the world. Scientists estimate that if global warming exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, above preindustrial levels, about 80 percent of the world’s coastline could see more sea level rise than the global average.”
— Halcyon Gallery (@HalcyonGallery) May 11, 2017
“Something has to be done,” the 51-year-old artist tells the source. The sculpture itself, made of a polyurethane foam covered by a resin, took three weeks to create, and Quinn, along with the gallery that represents him, Halcyon Gallery in London, worked directly with Venice city officials to have it installed.
According to a press release from the gallery, the hands “symbolize tools that can both destroy the world, but also have the capacity to save it.”
“At once, the sculpture has both a noble air as well as an alarming one — the gesture being both gallant in appearing to hold up the building whilst also creating a sense of fear in highlighting the fragility of the building surrounded by water and the ebbing tide,” explains the statement.
— Halcyon Gallery (@HalcyonGallery) May 12, 2017
The hands will be on display through Nov. 26, the last day of the Venice Biennale. After that, Quinn said the sculpture will likely find itself in other places suffering the effects of climate change.