The name “barbatella” is derived from a vine shoot that produces “barbs,” which are essentially roots. It is created by taking a small shoot from a mature plant and burying it in special boxes, known as “forcing” boxes, filled with soil and sand. Roots sprout from the cut end of this shoot, known as the “barb.” The barbatella can then be transplanted into the vineyard, initiating its transformation. This seemingly insignificant vine shoot will eventually give rise to a magnificent vine. 

Similar to many other plants, the vine possesses the remarkable ability to regenerate itself. However, this growth requires meticulous care, with the vine grower guiding, shaping, and even constraining the vine. These actions, paradoxically, lead to the production of high-quality fruit. The vine’s roots delve deep into the earth in search of the water necessary for its sustenance, all while adapting to various environmental conditions, always under the watchful eye of the vine grower. 

In this context, the five emerging artists in this exhibition contemplate their own creative processes, drawing parallels between the growth of the vine and the development of their artwork. Much like the vinedresser, the artist shapes, questions, and patiently waits for their work to reach completion. Thus, this isn’t a creation from nothingness but an operation that emerges from reality. The raw material is not left unattended; it is carefully nurtured and constrained by the artist. This perspective gives rise to the title of the exhibition, “Caliptra.” In botany, a caliptra is a protective sheath that covers the extreme apex of roots or corollas. In a similar fashion, the artist, acting as the caliptra does, safeguards the artistic creation and allows it to come to life. 

The exhibition unfolds in different spaces throughout the cascina. Each environment, much like the process of wine production, serves a specific purpose and has its own unique intention. The artists’ work engages in a dialogue with these spaces, speaking of the slow and silent process of sedimentation. Smaller works find their place in the barrique cellar, while the production cellar houses large-format works, where the artist leaves their creative imprint and guides the birth of the artistic product. The journey concludes in a more sterile environment, free from distractions, in a narrow white room. Here, the artworks, once constrained, can be considered complete and reveal themselves in their full freedom. 

Additionally, the artists had the privilege of showcasing their works in the newly renovated “Gipsoteca Formica” in Palazzo Crova, a historic building in Nizza Monferrato. In this renovated wing of the palace, their works engage in a conversation with the impressive sculptures created by Claudia Formica, an artist from Nizza. The City Council has chosen to dedicate this space in the heart of the city to her, further enhancing the artistic synergy within the community. 

Opening: 4 november 11:30 AM. Cascina la Barbatella, Strada Annunziata 55, Nizza Monferrato. 

Visiting hours:

Monday to Friday by appointment from 2:00PM to 6:30PM. Saturday and Sunday from 10:00AM to 2:00PM and from 2:00PM to 6:30PM. For information and reservations, please call+39 345 041 3704.

Gipsoteca Formica: Visits are possible every day from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM. You can contact the Nizza Monferrato Tourist Information Office (IAT) at +39 014 144 1565 or +39 329 228 5564, located at Piazza Martiri di Alessandria 1, Nizza Monferrato, AT (Asti), for more information and reservations. 

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