From past to present, from inside to outside. From the most spectacular monuments and museums to city life: starting with the mosaic plaques in the streets of the centre, made in the workshop of the mosaic artist Annafietta, or the interior decoration pieces designed by the students of the Mosaic Course of the Liceo Artistico Nervi-Severini, such as the benches located in Via Salara.
The common thread of mosaic art leads us along a vibrant and ever-changing route between private homes and the day-to-day business of the people of Ravenna, through the streets and squares of the city, in constant rapport with the life of its citizens.
Colourful installations inspired by the famous Japanese video game “Space Invaders” play hide-and-seek with passers-by and tourists.
They were created by the French artist, Invader, famous in Paris, New York, Bangkok, Marrakech and Sao Paulo, who was commissioned in 2015 to create a 20 square metre mosaic at the Planetarium of the Public Gardens, representing Spock, an icon of the science fiction TV series Star Trek, in the act of greeting a red alien about to invade the Earth.
Later, Invader returned incognito to scatter at least another thirty or so works of art around the city, which can still be seen today in the streets of Ravenna.
A restoration project will soon bring new lustre to the works exhibited since 1988 in the Parco della Pace in Via Marzabotto, an open-air museum commissioned by the Associazione Mosaicisti Contemporanei and the Municipality of Ravenna, based on a project by an international artistic commission chaired by Giulio Carlo Argan.
The project is aimed at disseminating the art of mosaic as a universal message of peace and friendship among peoples through important works by contemporary mosaicists, such as Mimmo Paladino, who signs the mosaic carpet in the centre of the park, the Belgian Claude Rahir with his fountain work made of materials from all countries, or the Viennese Edda Mally who exhibits here the 4 metre high work The Wings of Peace.
There is also Arte en plein air, in Piazza Resistenza, which features the beautiful monumental mosaic fountain Ardea Purpurea, a 12 metre high work by Marco Bravura, a famous mosaicist from Ravenna.
The mosaic is crushed and recomposed, in constant quest of harmony. Like the Arab phoenix, this fountain celebrates, in its helicoidal movement, rebirth and life.
In Via di Roma, on display right in front of the entrance to the Mar (Museo d’Arte di Ravenna) is RotoB., also by Marco Bravura, a display made with scraps of gold from mosaics, just as hay bales are made with the discarded part of wheat.
The mosaic work represents the re-evaluation of recycling as an art form, but it is also a call for a return to a more frugal lifestyle, against waste and superfluous.
Next to Porta Adriana there is a mosaic monument in memory of Pier Paolo D’Attorre (1951-1997), a mayor of Ravenna who died prematurely. He was especially loved and respected for his profound culture and scholarly activity.
Designed by the artist Matthias Biehler, the work made by Luciana Notturni and the young students of the Ravenna mosaic schools, consists of a simple bench covered with mosaic tiles on which a folded overcoat and a book, also in mosaic, seem to have been forgotten.
In Viale Farini, inside Speyer Gardens near the railway station, we find Gerusalemme Celeste made by the students of the Consorzio Provinciale per la Formazione Professionale (Provincial Consortium for Professional Training).
Designed by Enzo Pezzi, it was inspired by the many depictions of the Holy City contained in the mosaics of Ravenna.
Finally, displayed in the old town centre outside companies, shops or private homes, are decorated mosaic tiles made as part of “I Fiori di Ravenna” – “Ravenna città amica delle donne” (“Ravenna a city friend of women”), a project promoted in 2013 by the Linea Rosa association in collaboration with the Centro Internazionale di Documentazione sul Mosaico (International Centre for the Documentation of Mosaics ) of the MAR – Art Museum of the city of Ravenna and CNA, with the aim of uniting the world of voluntary work with that of art.
We are talking about small artistic works with floral motifs that highlight Ravenna’s support for women in difficulty or suffered or witnessed psychological, economic, physical, sexual, mobbing and stalking violence.
Over time these works have become a symbol of “welcome” in the city, especially for women, so that they feel comfortable as guests in a welcoming place, and more generally for all those who visit Ravenna.
Again in memory of the victims of femicide, there is a sculpture on display in piazzetta Serra created by students of the liceo artistico Nervi with the support of the Linea Rosa association and restored in 2013 in collaboration with Udi, the promoter of the “Place occupied by a victim of femicide” campaign within the “No-More” convention.