St. Mary le Strand- London
Opening 15th October 2022
CONEXIÓN at St. Mary Le Strand is a concrete example of dialogue between the Anglican Church, the Dominican Republic and the art of Lidia Leon to encourage coexistence of the individuals by integrating the language of art into architecture and the natural material into the sacred geometry of the space.
With this installation made of tobacco leaves, Lidia Leon Cabral has transformed St. Mary Le Strand - one beautiful example of the Baroque architecture in London- into a sort of agorà where diverse cultures can meet and live together. The tobacco plants, which situate the work in a Caribbean landscape and are a crucial part of the socioeconomic development of the Dominican Republic, are a recurring theme in LiLeón's imagery: she was born and raised in a prominent family of tobacco farmers. In the hands of the artist-architect, these large leaves become a raw material to be used in construction, keeping the essential link to Mother Nature open. The collage of tobacco leaves on the panels was inspired by the church's ancient stained-glass windows.
The artwork with the tobacco leaves was done site-specific for St. George's Anglican Church of Venice during the lockdown. CONEXION can be considered a historical work of art, created at a time of great uncertainty for the whole of humanity. A symbolic work, with a strong matrix of Caribbean culture that invites visitors to recognize their fraternal ties and to rediscover the strong bond with mother earth.
On the 20th May 2021 the UK newspaper, Architect's Journal, chose CONEXION as one of the "Best of the rest"of the Biennale.
Dominican Republic Pavilion
17.Biennale di Architettura di Venezia
CONEXIÓN, created by LiLeón for St. George's Anglican Church, is an interior architecture project and a concrete example of sustainable architecture that supports and encourages a state of coexistence between individuals inside the space.
CONEXIÓN, a work that integrates the language of art into interior architecture, has found a perfect home in Venice's Anglican church thanks to its character as a communal, vibrant space, open to all artistic expression. The Anglican church is a pluralistic one, where diverse theological tendencies come together in harmony. St. George's in particular acts as a spiritual center for many of Venice's international residents. For several years, the church has been pursuing a policy of cultural openness towards the city, hosting art exhibitions and concerts.
"Discovering the interconnections between science, nature and spirituality, revealing the link between the intangible and the visible. My work reiterates the awareness of feeling that I am a reflection of a collective reality broader than personal individual reality. It reveals that we are all interconnected, like drops from the same Ocean..." - Lidia León
Starting from this holistic vision, the architect León has created an installation of archetypal form, that will turn the church into a sort of agora where diverse cultures meet.
The interior design project is composed of panels made with tobacco leaves that create a dynamic and living space. Inside, visitors can recognize the infinite web of relationships that creates the fabric of society, and rediscover their own connection to nature.
We, humans of today, inextricably linked in this globalized world, must be more responsible than ever, since we have lived on our own skin and therefore understood what it means to act to the detriment of others and the world.
Any good or bad action we do towards society and the environment inevitably reflects on us and our microcosm.
"My work reaffirms the awareness of feeling myself the reflection of a collective reality that is wider than the personal individual reality, it reveals that we are all interconnected like drops of the same ocean ..." says the architect artist Lidia Leon.
And it is precisely in this thought of her, that she and I first, and immediately afterwards with the collaboration of all the participants in the Pavilion, we saw our answer to the question posed in the title of the 17. Architecture Biennale "How will we live together? ".
Roberta Semeraro narrator, art critic and independent curator, is president of the cultural association RO.SA.M. In her professional career she has collaborated with various institutional partners including the Ministry of Activities and Cultural Heritage for the promotion and enhancement of the Italian artistic heritage and with foreign Embassies and Governments for the promotion of international heritage. Active for several years, especially in Rome and Venice, in the organization and care of art exhibitions, she is dedicated in particular to sustainability projects through the languages of contemporary art such as "Nine artists for the reconstruction" that designed for the city of L' Aquila after the earthquake of 2009. She has written books, texts for art catalogs, newspapers, script and screenplays for documentaries. She has curated exhibitions of numerous national and international; newspapers and media talked about her activities. In 2018 she published with Progedit her latest book "Rebuilding with art" which was presented at the Turin Book Fair in 2019.
She has three children Martina, Simonpietro and Costanza and lives and works in Venice.
Nine artists for reconstruction
Environmental Sculpture Project for the city of L'Aquila
Beverly Pepper, Mauro Staccioli, Hidetoshi Nagasawa, Linda Karshan, Volkwing Marg
Cultural Association RO.SA.M.
Books, documentaries and other...
The library for L'Aquila by Linda Karshan
Beauty will save the world, and art and architecture should find beauty inspired by nature
COLLABORAZIONI E PARTNERS
Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali
Ministero della cultura Repubblica Dominicana
Ambasciata degli Stati Uniti d'America a Roma
Ambasciata Italiana a Santo Domingo
Ambasciata Repubblica Dominicana a Roma
Ambasciata Repubblica Dominicana a Londra
Ambasciata della Finlandia
Ambasciata di Svezia
Fondazione Terzo Pilastro
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Spoleto
Fondazione Banca di Teramo
Comune di Venezia
Comune di Palmanova
Comune di Roma
Comune di Perugia
Comune di Lampedusa
Comune di Spoleto
Comune di Todi
Comune di Longarone
Comune di Portogruaro
Comune di Venezia
Provincia autonoma di Trento
Regione Friuli Venezia - Giulia
Soprintendenza alla Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
Soprintendenza di Roma
Soprintendenza Archeologia Molise
Soprintendenza Archeologia Friuli Venezia-Giulia
Soprintendenza Archeologia Sardegna
Soprintendenza Archeologia L'Aquila e Cratere
Croce Rossa Italiana
KIEDET Tanzania Onlus
Banco Popolare San Marco
Fondazione della Biennale di Venezia
Fondazione Venezia Servizi alla Persona
IRE , Venezia
Istituto di cultura Cervantes
Chiesa Anglicana di St. Georges, Venezia
Chiesa Anglicana di St. Mary le Strand, Londra
Global Campus of Human Rights
Università Ca' Foscari
The Human Safety Net
Institutio Santoriana Fondazione Comel, Pisa