“Between Dreams and Reality
In 1991 he set up the art workshop La Scultura di Andrea Roggi, where he has been crafting his sculptures from start to finish and, with the help of his assistants, he manages to create large-sized yet finely detailed pieces.
Bronze is the material he chose, which he puts through the lost wax casting process to finally transform the clay models into metal sculptures.
The artist's atelier forms a single entity with the park where historical pieces are on display: a simple wall keeps the exhibition area separate from the spaces devoted to creation. There, large workbenches, furnaces, shelves packed with figures at different stages of completion and all kinds of tools lay strewn about in apparent disarray, while monumental statues standing like guardians in the garden seem to watch over the work of their creator.
Those passing by the Parco della Creatività ® may catch a glimpse of the sculptor as he tries to capture and set in clay an intuition, as he strives for perfection of shape.
Three, four, even five trial pieces may be necessary before completing the journey from the initial idea to the final result, before achieving that ultimate, perfect form. The one that shall not only subsist in clay, but will also be translated into bronze.
photo by: Zoë Atkinson-Fiennes
"It’s a glorious spring afternoon, the sun beats down on budding crops and burnished hill tops as I speed through Italy’s picture-perfect countryside. Deep below the meandering ancient footpaths etched into her rolling landscape, the train glides through the majestic Alps; Emilia Romagna slipping into Tuscany in less than an hour. In this day and age, so ‘close’ are Bologna and Castiglion Fiorentino that one can easily forget they are two entirely different regions.
I am on a journey to see a Tuscan Maestro, a unique sculptor who was born here in this remarkable part of the world. It has been almost two years since I first stood in awe, transported by his sculptures in Borgo Pignano: today I will meet their creator.
We drive down into the valley of Castiglion Fiorentino, glimpsing the Maestro’s public works of art as we go, rising and falling, winding to our destination. His atelier’s gates lie open, welcoming visitors into a garden of creativity - Il Parco della Creatività - a quiet and restful place filled with flowers, trees and flagstone paths leading from one work of art to the next. In the background, the sound of a hammer working metal rings out in the air.
Lying in the afternoon sun, golden-bronze spheres glint displaying their weathered textures and bronze couples lock in love’s embrace, dancing with entwined bodies melting into one another, hundreds of blue-green olive leaves adorning their outstretched arms.
The artist's atelier forms a single entity with the park where historical pieces are on display: a simple wall keeps the exhibition area separate from the spaces devoted to creation. There, large workbenches, furnaces, shelves packed with figures at different stages of completion and all kinds of tools lay strewn about in apparent disarray, while monumental statues standing like guardians in the garden seem to watch over the work of their creator’.
This is the Atelier and these are the words of the Italian Maestro, Andrea Roggi:
When I was young I had a dream,
to speak to people all over the world.
we are all just one being,
connected by a ray of light,
a ray of love and creativity.
We must communicate this joy of life,
its beauty, its simplicity
But how can one person
coming from a small town communicate,
not knowing foreign languages
and without support?
Only with Fantasy.
My dream came true
The place is alive with movement, of people and ideas, a swirling centre of creativity. I see clay figures on spinning stands and countless tools splayed over surfaces, momentarily resting, waiting to be picked up. I get the feeling that my visit has momentarily suspended their creative dance in the hands of this mysterious artist.
Seeing signs of drying out, Andrea lovingly mists a clay couple in clouds of water droplets, leaving their skin glistening. You have to work quickly he tells me, clay dries in a moment if left to dehydrate and then shaping it becomes almost impossible. He works initially in clay on a rotating stand because clay is an immediate and highly malleable material. I imagine him toiling in a restless fury of creative emotion and expression, spinning the sculpture around this way and that.
The clay models are then transformed into bronze through a historic and now rare wax casting process. Andrea uses bronze as the defining material in his sculpture because it transmits a feeling of ‘heavyness’, possessing the ideal combination of solidity and density for a truly forceful impact on the senses; metals carry with them associations of power and timeless endurance, values which we have attached to them for generations..."