Voices from the Internet have informed me of the passing of artist and sculptor Pinuccio Sciola. We have lost another great voice in the world.
It was a playful voice. When Paula Loi took me to meet Mr. Sciola, he directed us to a pile of rough sculptures. Hands. A great mountain of hands. Not any hands but the enormous hands of Sardinian shepherds, with their plump fingers widely spaced.
He compared them to his own and giggled. He had obviously skipped the class in “developing pretentiousness” in art school.
If you’ve ever extended a hand to a shepherd you know that the artist is right. The hand that will reach out to you is enormous. What passes for that complicated tether to your fingers will get lost in the grip of a Sardinian shepherd. Shepherds hands are strong hands.
Funny thing, though. They are as soft as the basalt hands are porous.
Mr. Sciola was always interested in exploring the properties of elasticity, texture, vibrations and spirit—which lesser artists do with more obvious materials. He explored those properties in rocks.
A while later he placed his hands together. “What am I doing?” he demanded. After a period of silence he relented, “I am praying.”
The way to access spirit is through prayer—and Mr. Sciola began to run his fingers across the surface of the scarred rock.
At which time it sang.
I hope some day you will have the opportunity to shake hands with a Sardinian shepherd. I hope you feel the softness and the power, for then you will have felt the essence and the spirit of Pinuccio Sciola.