TALAMONE.- Emily Youngs determination to raise awareness of environmental issues through art has taken an unprecedented scope.
A 12-ton carved piece of Carrara marble (The Weeping Guardian) was laid 8 meters down on the seafloor off the coast of Tuscany, at Talamone in the summer of 2015. It is one of a planned group of twenty-five huge more or less carved stones put into the sea as part of a 5-year project to prevent illegal trawling along that coastline.
This stone guardian of the waters, designed and carved by Emily Young with assistance from Louis Russell and Johnny Cass, will rest there for millennia, doing his quiet work.
Emily Young was born in London into a family of writers, artists, politicians and adventurers. Her grandmother was the sculptor Kathleen Scott, a colleague of Auguste Rodin.
As a young woman, Young worked primarily as a painter, having studied briefly at Chelsea School of Art, Central Saint Martins London, and Stonybrook University, New York.
She left London in the late 60s, and spent the next years travelling through USA, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America and China. It was during these travels, whilst encountering an extensive range of cultures, that she developed her broad view of art, both its history and function.
In the early 1980s Young started carving in stone, raiding quarry yards for discarded materials from around the world. She is now one of the worlds most well-respected and revered Sculptors, with the Financial Times labelling her Britains Leading, Living Sculptor in 2015.
Youngs art acts as a conciliator sometimes even a messenger delivering out natures message to humanity.
The primary objective of her sculpture is to bring to the fore the relationship of humankind and the planet into closer conjunction, a relationship which has been occluded by millennia of fantasies about the nature of power and human autonomy.
Youngs sculptures have unique characteristics due to each individual stones geological history. Her approach allows the viewer to comprehend a commonality across deep time, geography and cultures. Her constant preoccupation is our troubled relationship with the planet, which underscores her studio practice.
With her Weeping Guardians Project, Young has taken a silent, but powerful stand. In due course more great stones will protect a further 130 kilometres of coast which illegal fishing trawlers have been ravaging for many years.
The sea bed there should be an abundance of sea-grass meadows, functioning as a marine nursery, the breeding and feeding place of multitudes. At the moment the sea bed is barren in many places, scraped bare and scarred by the illegal dragnet trawling form of fishing that has gone on in these waters.
Within months of their arrival these stones have become home to myriad life forms, including corals, fish plant life, star fish, crabs , each in turn encouraging more plant life and sea creatures to return.
It's the result of the long-time dream of local Talamone fisherman Paolo Fanciulle, (aka Paolo Pescatore), to bring his vision of a restored sea to reality.
More stone carvings to be lowered in Spring/Summer 2019.