pictures courtesy of Pavel Konečný
Located in the south of Sardinia, Italy, this art environment only recently became known by a larger public.
Life and works
Born in 1935 in Dorgali, Sardinia, Bartolomeo Merau had some three years of primary education and then left school to help his parents at the farm.
At age 19, in the early 1950's, he left his family to find employment as a worker in coal mines in Belgium and Germany.
After ten years, in the early 1960's, Mereu returned to his native region, where he bought a bar in the harbour town of Cala Gonone. He rebuilded the bar and re-opened it as a gelateria (an ice cream shop), which he would operate for some 40 years.
So he went roaming the adjacent woods to collect stumps of mainly juniper which he transformed into multicolored sculptures.
Manufacturing sculptures Mereu makes use of the shapes which from origin are present in his material and thus for example arms of a person can consist of laterally grown branches in the base material.
Some of the larger sculptures of persons are arranged in a line, as if they form the public of a passing parade. Many of Mereu's creations have a humorous undertone.
Mereu's artwork only recently was made known to a wider public by Pavel Konečný, a collector of outsider art from the Czech Republic who travelled a number of times through Italy, where he also visited sites in Sardinia where he came across Mereu's art environment.
Mereu's sculptures got a first exposition in 2015 in Cala Gonone and thanks to Konečný, photographs of his artwork, together with those of other Italian outsider artists, were presented on an exhibition in the Italian Institute of Cuture in Prague (january/february 2017).
* Article (january 25, 2017) on website Italia Praga One Way about Pavel Konečný's photo exposition Il monde degli outsider (Istituto Italiano di Culture di Praga, jan,febr 2017)
* Article (june 25, 2015) in regional newspaper La Nuova referring to Mereu's participation in an exposition in Cala Gonone
* Series of pictures of Mereu's artwork by Pavel Konečný on Facebook (may 2015)
* Video by Pavel Konečný (published on Facebook, oct 2014)
Viale Bue Marino
Cala Gonone, Sardinia, Italy
can partly be seen from the road