When you wish upon a tree…

Wishing TreeThe Wishing Tree at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice is a must see attraction when at the Guggenheim. At the far end of the Nasher Sculpture Garden, behind a beautiful pagoda, lies The Wishing Tree. It is an olive tree which symbolises wisdom, peace, hope and light amongst other things. This makes the olive tree apt to use as a wishing tree.

The placard on the side instructs to write down a wish and attach it to a branch. It then says “keep wishing, until the branches are covered with wishes.”

I think this is a fabulous idea and although it may be debated, I feel it is a piece of artwork and it could be argued that it is more valuable and a greater masterpiece than some of the other works at the Guggenheim. This is because it is an interactive piece that is on-going and can never be finished. This makes it very special as the outcome cannot be predicted and the presence of the unknown makes it all the more exciting.

So, when you’re next in Venice, go and put your wish upon the tree and it will forever be immortalised.

Was there Moore meaning to Henry’s work than meets the eye?

'Working Model for Oval with Points' - Henry Moore

“A piece of sculpture can have a hole through it and not be weakened if the hole is of a studied size, shape and direction.” – Henry Moore

Having specialised in bronze sculpture in the Modernism movement, Henry Moore has since become a well known figure and he is best known for his semi abstract monumental bronze sculptures. Whilst visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice, my eye was caught by Henry Moore’s ‘Working Model for Oval with Points.’ Its flowing shape and uneven texture reflect light that bounces off from all sides. This however, is the only compliment that can be found.

This piece is so abstract that not only is there no point of its image, it does not portray any deeper meaning or reasoning for its form. I believe that this piece was conjured up through no real planning or thought and it was an accident of a bronze figure gone wrong.

How can it be determined if this piece is art? There is no doubt that his other works of bronze figures are skilled pieces of art work, but this sculpture does not have the same feel of his other works. Henry Moore himself said “All art is an abstraction to some degree.” However, personally, this is so abstract that the viewer is left wondering its purpose and the reason for why this piece is part of the fabulous collection at the Guggenheim.

How does interest in art become love of art?

My love of art has developed over the years beginning from when I was very young. My first taste of art was the Mona Lisa in Le Louvre, Paris. I fell in love with the iconic image and since then have always viewed art with an inquisitive eye.

I recently visited the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice, Italy, which is home to many masterpieces which Peggy collected for her house whilst she was alive. She collected works by artists that she thought were up and coming and favoured modern artworks. The Nasher Sculpture Garden in particular caught my eye, presenting the works of Henry Moore and Giacometti amongst others.

I find Peggy fascinating and inspiring, as she too, like me, loved art so much that she surrounded herself in it and immersed herself in the art world. Although her personal life was somewhat tumultuous, she provided a fantastic showpiece and left a marvellous legacy which art lovers can still enjoy today.

When romantics say Venice is the place to fall in love, I can now understand, as it was where I too fell in love: with the city’s magnificent art.