Venice Biennale 2019

For the occasion of the 58th Venice Biennale Lorenzo Quinn unveils his latest work, the monumental sculpture Building Bridges installed in a basin adjacent to the entrance of the Arsenale, in the Castello District of Venice. Building Bridges is composed of six pairs of monumental hands − 15 metres high and 20 metres wide − individually titled Help, Love, Friendship, Faith, Wisdom and Hope. The installation engages with the history of Venice as a meeting point of international history and culture.

The joining of hands symbolises our commonality, what we share and our ability to unite with an emphasis on bridging differences in all aspects of life − geographically, spiritually, philosophically, culturally and emotionally. The hands suggest a need for contact beyond self-interest, striving for human collaboration and unity. Quinn uses them to communicate complex emotions through a lexicon of gestures and touch, reflecting an ethos of connection and exchange through the language of art.

By using the Arsenale as a site for installation, the work also draws a connection to the city’s history as one of the greatest trading powers in Europe, the Western end of the Silk Road trade route and a huge naval authority. Venice, a World Heritage City, keeps attracting tourists from all nations and the City stays a meeting point of cultures, which aligns with Quinn’s message of world unity. Venice is a place close to Quinn’s heart. The birthplace of his mother and wife, Venice is a city to which Quinn feels deep connection, love and gratitude. 

Giovanna Cicutto Quinn is the woman on Lorenzo’s side. She is not only the mother of his 3 sons − Giovanna is also the omnipresent muse.