National Project Of Beauty we live. We grow a dream

Di Bellezza Si Vive. Coltiviamo un sogno/ Of Beauty we live. We grow a dream

Curated by Castello di Rivoli Education Department

Di Bellezza Si Vive project was selected in the context of a national tender against educational poverty promoted by the Fondazione Con i bambini and considered among the most innovative proposals on a national basis: it sees a network of partners engaged together in shared actions, with the direction of Giorgia Turchetto. The network is led by Il Manto di Como (Cometa) and among the partners, in addition to the Castello di Rivoli Education Department, there are: On! Srl Social Enterprise of Milan, Studio MCG of Trento Prof.ssa Manuela Fellin, Horcynus Orca Foundation of Messina, Assifero Italian Association of Foundations and Institutions of Institutional Philanthropy based in Rome, National Institute of Nuclear Physics based in Rome, Mario Moderni Foundation of Rome, Aragorn of Milan. The project envisages shared actions at the Museum and on the national territory through the use of an unprecedented research method, that uses beauty as a device for contrasting and reducing educational poverty in fragile contexts.

Di Bellezza Si Vive in 2022 came alive, in particular with the activities planned as part of Coltiviamo un sogno/ We grow a dream: an educational path based on the creation of artistic gardens in school spaces, where the vegetable garden is a metaphor for growth and sharing: Plant growth = Growth of the individual. Through tours of the Castello di Rivoli, workshops and activities in the garden, young people understand the essence of planting to put down roots in the future, also thanks to the planning contribution of the Education Department Summer School, which has long been focused on these issues.

In the current historical moment, also in line with the demands of outdoor education, we wish to offer new perspectives and the starting point for rethinking the vital context, creating the conditions for acquiring a different attitude towards the natural environment, feeling all part of the same large global community of the living.
Preparing, sowing, taking care of the land to reap the fruits requires time, strength, patience, daily care, the ability to tolerate frustrations, failures, unexpected events; in the same way ideas and desires are transformed into shapes, colours, vital matter. Planting a seed seems a humble gesture but it helps to discover the cure for common goods, for the territory and in general for the environment. Even creating a vegetable garden implies the assumption of responsible behavior towards the others and the Planet.

As part of the project, through the metaphor of the vegetable garden, the children are accompanied in a collective reflection on how biodiversity belongs to nature and humanity. The garden tells stories of human migrations: what arrives on our tables is not always native, it is often the result of contamination, discoveries, intercultural encounters. Making a vegetable garden is therefore a way to reflect on the value of diversity, of encounter, a way of remaining open to listening and discovering the other.
In line with the methodology of the Castello di Rivoli Education Department, the project We grow a dream is based on the experience of art to foster an emotionally rich and meaningful relationship between young people and nature, always starting from the tools of contemporary creativity and from the work of artists such as Joseph Beuys, who was a forerunner of the issues of safeguarding nature, biodiversity and sustainable development. Among the founders of the Green movement in Germany, Beuys understood art as an anthropological tool for the constitution of the new international, democratic and free artistic community. In Beuys’ imagination, every human being can become a new creator of the universe and a scientist as he can experiment with his own creations. His vision coincides with the idea of ​​a different way of being in the world, not anthropocentric but empathetic and in balance with the laws that regulate the cosmos, in harmony with all elements, living and non-living, and with universal energy. Art for Beuys is the real human capital to invest on.
Today in the educational process it is essential to reconsider the relationship with the natural context, to increase one’s awareness, also in line with the research of anthropologists and scientists such as Natasha Myers and Timothy Choy who enrich ecological thinking with new contents and practices. We grow a dream has a further artistic reference in Shweta Bhattad’s international project, I have a dream. A different idea of ​​creation, which starts from the earth and promotes the appropriation of ancient cultivation practices to recreate an empathic relationship with the miracle of the birth and rebirth of all plant elements. The international project I have a dream represents the framework within which to gradually implement good practices that contain a generating force, up to having educational groups capable of concretely demonstrating the change. A garden can become a message and a movement to fight against climate change, in defense of the territories and the species that inhabit them.

During the project, in December 2022, the students of IC Levi Rivoli, IC Como-Rebbio and the Oliver Twist School of Cometa ideally gathered around the Chromatic Table curated by the Education Department: it is a scenographic setup of plant elements, representative of the beauty of fruits and vegetables – as part of We grow a dream. On the table, shapes, colours, scents and flavors have allowed the participants to live a synesthetic experience, capable of involving the plurality of senses.

The project of the chromatic table finds an important reference in the work of Mario Merz, in particular the Tavolo a spirale per festino, and in general of the Arte Povera artists in the collection at the Castello di Rivoli, such as Giuseppe Penone and Michelangelo Pistoletto, with his constant commitment to proposing messages of respect for nature, through a creative involvement that places art at the center of responsible social transformation.

The Table was set up in homage to Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Third Paradise, to share collective thoughts and actions in the name of sustainability and of rebirth through art and culture, in harmony with Rebirth-Day: the project by Michelangelo Pistoletto which turned 10 in 2022, shared from the outset by the Education Department with Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto, Third Paradise Ambassadors Network and with all the project partners.