papersynthesis ~ handmade paper items & prints ~ florence, italy ~ Lisa McGarry



© 2011 Lisa McGarry                                                                                        ../Lisa_McGarry/lisa-mcgarry.com_HOME.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0








Folon at the Rose Garden

Jean-Michel Folon was a Belgian illustrator, painter, sculptor and humanitarian. I first learned about the artist through Folon-Firenze, a multiple-venue exhibition held in 2005. Paintings, sculptures, collages & other media were on display at Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s City Hall) & Forte di Belvedere, a late-16C fort positioned on a hill just south of the center. This major art event extended to a handful of nearby towns as well, making it what Folon dubbed ‘the exhibition of my life’. Following a donation his wife made in honor of the artist’s wishes, nine bronze sculptures & two in plaster have just been installed in Florence’s rose garden.

 I have been waiting with great anticipation to see Folon’s sculptures placed in the Giardino delle Rose. Overlooking Florence, the terraced garden gives Folon’s sculptures yet another chance to show how gracefully they intersect with the city & the landscape that surrounds it.

On the sixth anniversary of Folon’s death (20 October), I went up to the newly reopened garden to see his sculptures in their new setting. While it was certainly not ideal weather for an outdoor excursion, the experience is one I will never forget. Soon after arriving, the rain grew so heavy that I took shelter under the little pavilion where a film of the artist is set up. As I sat shivering in the damp, watching Folon as he wanders around Milan, speaks at an exhibition, shows off his studio, I realized that spending the morning in the artist’s ‘company’ was actually a perfect way to remember this man who has inspired me so much over the years.  

I didn’t get many decent pictures of Folon’s work that day—the constant rain that made for such a dramatic visit was not conducive to taking photos—but I will post some when I have a chance to return. I would also love to share an article I’m writing about Folon once it’s ready. . .

The Giardino delle Rose is
open from 9am
to dusk every
day (there is no entrance fee). The garden is just outside Porta San Miniato, on the hill flanking
the west side 
of Piazzale
 Michelangelo; there are a number of  entrances in
the area.
Click HERE & HERE to read some of my past entries about visiting Florence’s rose garden.../Lisa_McGarry/arzigogolare/Entries/2009/5/14_At_the_Rose_Garden.html../Arzigogolare/May_June_2011.htmlshapeimage_12_link_0shapeimage_12_link_1

The small image at the top of the page shows L’Envol framed by a persimmon tree in the Rose Garden

The sculpture
in the image at left is Evasion at the Forte di Belvedere during the Folon-Firenze 
exhibition in 2005

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