Building Bridges is contemporary Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn’s (b. 1966) most ambitious project to date. Six pairs of monumental hands bridge the basin of the Arsenale as both a symbol of our commonality and an expression of human aspiration. The project depicts six of humanity’s universal values – ‘Friendship’, ‘Faith’, ‘Help’, ‘Love’, ‘Hope’ and ‘Wisdom’ – each symbolised by human hands coming together to overcome differences and build a better world.
Famous as a city of connections through its canals and crossings, as an historic base of international trade, and as an ongoing hub of artistic exchange – Venice, a World Heritage Site with visitors from all over the globe, is an ideal place to spread a message of unity connecting societies, nations, communities and individuals through building bridges, not walls.
The solemnity of two palms touching gently but firmly creates a symmetry expressing a state of trust and support, based on mutual experience and looking ahead to a future together.
The meeting of hands young and old evokes knowledge and understanding crossing generations.
The connection of two hands symbolising both empathy and understanding in a state of physical, emotional and moral support that builds lasting relationships.
The grasp of a tiny hand clutching a parent’s fingers in blind faith is a reminder of the responsibility to nurture our younger generation to grow in confidence, self-worth and dependability.
The initial joining of interlaced fingers represents optimism for the future. Hope gives us the strength to persevere in worthwhile endeavours when all appears lost.
The tightly interlocked fingers suggest the intensity of bodies clinging to one another in passionate devotion; the physical manifestation of a state of being that is fundamental to us all.