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Grottoes

2016–2013

Series of architectural projects featuring interiors resembling a cave



Introduction

By Antonino Cardillo

The Grottoes series investigates the ancestral ideas of the sacred and eroticism. These figures, which still inhabit the unconscious of the mankind, admonish us that there is something else beyond the common sights imposed by society. Before the Modern era, architecture bridged eroticism. As paintings and sculptures were permanently unified with the space, architecture was a human narrative. Thus, these grottoes-chambers celebrate the eroticism concealed in the act of the construction. Unveiled by the act of the wildly plaster casted walls and the vault created by the masons’ trowel, they suggest a sensual dominance of the void. The mineral dust which is what the rough plaster is mainly composed of is pozzolana, also known as pozzolanic ash. First carved from the volcano Vesuvius of Naples, and mixed with lime, this concrete was widely used by Romans for building the largest constructions of the Late Antiquity. The most famous example is the dome of the Pantheon in Rome. The grottoes-chambers appear semi-concealed as the nymph-house of a Renaissance or Picturesque garden. Nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature. Thus nymph-house conveys the idea of the unfolding of the senses. It symbolises the place where human feelings are more connected to the earth and where the senses are amplified. Thus, beholding alternate realities, the Grottoes series explores planes of existence, anthropological significances and labyrinths of senses encased by the unconscious.


Thanks to Ana Araujo


Specus Corallii

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, Trapani, 27 August 2016

Specus Corallii

The coral cave


Colour as a Narrative

Illuminum Fragrance, London, 26 April 2015

Colour as a Narrative

A volcanic topography


Crepuscular Green

Mondrian Suite, Rome, 29 April 2014

Crepuscular Green

From the depths of the river


House of Dust

Rome, 16 April 2013

House of Dust

Craving for caverns


Bibliography

2021–2013