Emilie Cummings-Enneking

Introduction to the project Equanimity in Tuscany, Italy

Italy: first visit to the Fattoria of Giovanni Cannas in Volterra
In August 2008 I went to the fattoria/farm of Giovanni Cannas, in Volterra, Tuscany. A good friend of mine, Dominique Bruillon, a French artist with whom I exhibited my work at the Biennale 2007 and later that year in galeria Mentana in Florence, was working on a landscape piece of art at the fattoria and invited me to join him for a week.

Not only did I fall in love with the place, the people and obviously the food, the Tuscan landscape is of such overwhelming beauty that it’s a shame to have to go to sleep. The bare dry hills go on forever, only walked on by the hurd of Giovanni’s sheep that announce themselves by the ringing of their neck bells.
Dominique worked the mornings before the sun would get up and in late afternoons/evenings when the sun would hide behind the beautiful mysterious hills. 


The hill for Equanimity

The opportunity
After this experience, Giovanni proposed that I drew some sketches of sculptures that I could possibly place on his property. Of course I saw this as a wonderful challenge and opportunity to create a large landscape piece of art and I took the month of September to design a portfolio with several ideas. The challenge for me was how to add “something” to the countryside that is so perfect as it is and at the same time would stand out without being destructive.

Equanimity
In October I went down to Italy to discuss the options with Giovanni, which turned out to be a lovely talk about the sculpture “Equanimity”.
Equanimity is a figure laying on it’s back balancing a large ball on it’s feet. It signifies the challenge to stay in balance in life and is built in the shape of a reversed question mark. Reversed, because it’s about turning questions to solutions, which comes from one’s inner strength. Also, ‘when the burden of life becomes a game, harmony and balance is what we gain’. I created this sculpture in 2007 after a period of difficulties that I was confronted with myself and the combination of strength and balance expressed in Equanimity are a true demonstration of my personal journey. Through talking about the meaning of the sculpture with my close friends, I was encouraged to use this symbol of strength, a force that we all need in life, to make into a project shared by others. This is the reason why I was very pleased that this was the piece he would like to see on a monumental scale.
 


Equanimity


Giovanni had an immediate preference for the shape of this sculpture and offered me a beautiful hill on his property, 50 meters from the main road between Volterra and San Gimignano and with a view from across the region.


Starting the project

In November I went back to the fattoria to further expand my knowledge of monumental landscape art. I  imagined and redesigned “Equanimity” for this particular setting and the result is that it will be a 9 meters high, bronze sculpture with a patina typical for Tuscany, a mix of red/brown/greens.
 


Introduction Interview at WAV


Special new contact in Mexico
November was a month of reflection about this big project, because I participated in the World Art Vision Expo in Cancun, Mexico in December 2008, which needed a lot of preparation. It was the first time that Cancun hosted a large international exhibit where about 100 artists from around the world showed their work. With 12 other Dutch participants we were sponsored by the transport company Speedmark and all my incredibly heavy boxes made it there and back sound and safe.

It was a great two weeks with many new friendships among the artists, lots of inspiration of the Mexican masters, who shared during the evening conferences their fascinating stories of their lives as artists and contemporaries of Diego Riviera and Frida Kahlo in the fifties and sixties of the last century and the special presentations of Georgio Luke, an expert on Mexican art and culture. 


World Art Vision Expo, Cancun, Mexico


It was there that I met David Eduardo, a very talented young Mexican artist and good friend. I asked him to make a painting of Equanimity placed in the beautiful hillside of Tuscany. This painting is de basis of a lithograph that I will send to my family, friends and all those interested to connect them with the meaning of the sculpture and to engage them in the realization of this dream.


Painting of Equanimity made by David Eduardo, a young Mexican artist and friend. January 2009


A project shared with Family and Friends
I hope to raise the necessary funds for the project by offering to purchase two smaller versions of Equanimity, (one of 53 cm and one of 120 cm). The money that I hope to collect will pay for the making of the smaller versions and for the construction, shipping and placing of the monumental sculpture in Italy. To recognize their participation, the names of the participants will be engraved in a bronze plate that will be placed at the foot of the hill in Tuscany.
                                                     

Follow the project
In addition to the actual making of the sculpture I am working with some great friends in Amsterdam who composed a document with all sort of PR activities that will help to give this challenge publicity and bring it "out in the open". They connected me with a company who will introduce me to different sources of advertisement.
Also, we will make a documentary film of the project.

In this News section of my website I will keep you updated about the progess of the sculpture and I hope to inspire you by sharing the beauty of this project.