April 03, 2015

Serafino Arienti, Il giardino delle meraviglie / The garden of wonders

pictures are stills from the Big as Life movie (see documentation),
published here in agreement with Cristina Crippa
Seregno is a city in the north of Italy with some 44.000 inhabitants, located around twenty kilometers above Milan. It's an old city with some interesting sights, such as Serafino Arienti's sculpture garden.

Life and works

Born in 1935, Arienti at age twelve began working in a factory that produces tools.

When he retired in 2000, just to have something to do, he began making small sculptures from steel. Maybe because of his job in the factory he had some experience with the processing of iron and steel, but with regard to creating sculptures he had no training at all.

Once begun, Arienti couldn't stop and currently the garden in front of his house has a wonderful collection of sculptures made from sheet metal, mainly stainless steel, which portray animals such as geese, storks, pelicans, kangaroos, ostriches and flamingos, quite a zoo in the midst of town.

He derives his examples from pictures in magazines and books.

A specific kinetic element in the garden is a pole topped with a variety of creations representing birds and other items, which move and rotate in the wind.

As above picture of a bird shows, the sculptures may consist of many small parts, like feathers of a bird or scales of a fish, and these parts are cut by Arienti piece by piece from sheet metal and knocked into shape. Cristina Crippa's movie (see documentation) pays special attention to this handicraft.

* Article on the website Costruttori di Babele

* Cristina Crippa, movie Big as Life,  Milano, Scuola di Cinema e Televisisone, 2013 (Vimeo, 29'32", sequences about Arienti from 14'27" - 18'20")

Serafino Arienti
Il giardino delle meraviglie
on the corner of the Via Ripamonti and the Viale Europa
Seregno, Lombardia, Italy
can be seen from the street

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