Lonely Planet Writer

An incredible sculpture of human hands has been unveiled in Venice

If you head to Venice between now and 24 November, you’ll be able to see a dramatic public sculpture that has been unveiled as part of the 58th International Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. ‘Building Bridges’ by Halcyon Gallery is contemporary Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn’s most ambitious project to date. It comprises six pairs of human hands that bridge the basin of the Arsenale, a complex of 12th-century shipyards in Venice’s Castello District.

Lorenzo Quinn’s Building Bridges by Halcyon Gallery during Venice Biennale 2019. Venice. Image: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Halcyon Art International

Crafted from resin, the sculpture is white to resemble Venice’s distinctive marble. The hands are joined together in the middle and they represent six of humanity’s universal values – friendship, faith, help, love, hope and wisdom. According to the artist, they symbolise people coming together to overcome differences and build a better world. The hands stretch to 15 metres in height and 20 metres in width, and a range of ages was used to inspire them, including a child’s hand, and those of the sculptor and his 86-year-old mother-in-law.

Crafted from Venice, Lorenzo Quinn’s Building Bridges by Halcyon Gallery Crafted from resin, the sculpture is white to resemble Venice’s distinctive marble. Image: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Halcyon Art International

The Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition is a  bi-annual visual art exhibition that attracts half a million people to the Italian city.

The new work in Venice. Image by Halcyon Art International

In 2017, Venice was home to another of the artist’s incredible installations called ‘Support,’ which also formed part of the Biennale. On that occasion, the artist hoped that his artwork would help to spotlight the effects of climate change on World Heritage Sites.

‘Support’ by Lorenzo Quinn highlights how climate change affects Venice. Image: Halcyon Gallery

To coincide with the unveiling of the sculpture, an exhibition of Quinn’s latest creations, entitled Possibilità, will be held at Halcyon Gallery’s flagship space in London’s Mayfair. Further information is available here and you can learn more about Lorenzo Quinn’s ‘Building Bridges’ sculpture here.