EMERGENCE FESTIVAL 2015, CATANIA, SICILY

Commissioned by Fondazione Terzo Pilastro Italia e Mediterraneo and curated by 999contemporary for Emergence Festival 2015, Vhils was invited to create a piece that would cover a structure comprising eight grain silos in the port of Catania, in the Italian island of Sicily.

Purposefully facing the approach from the sea, this huge production (30.2 × 64 m) greets all ships and boats arriving or departing from the island’s main gateway. It highlights Sicily’s importance as one of the key crossroads and meeting points for the myriad cultures and civilisations that have left their imprint in the Mediterranean region throughout the centuries.

According to the artist’s statement: “The intention to depict human elements – a face gazing into the horizon – by weaving them into the fabric of the territory is an attempt to highlight this meaningful historical relationship between peoples, the sea and the land, but also to express something of the present-day reality at a time when Europe is witnessing a new humanitarian crisis, as a new wave of migrants and refugees arrive on its shores in search of safety, thus expressing the need for us to look into this situation.”

The large-scale mural is still in progress.