Art in the sanctuary

In conversation with Daniele Basso on the occasion of the exhibition in Oropa

An exhibition that includes the territory too. Artworks speak about courage, research, identity

We meet Daniele Basso on the occasion of the exhibition “The Folds of the Soul” at the Sanctuary of Oropa (Biella). A singular initiative that stimulates a dialogue between the sacredness of the place and contemporary art.

So, Daniele, the exhibition opens with Boogyeman at the entrance of the Sanctuary and Ikaros in the square of the Upper Basilica.

These two works, after Lajatico by Andrea Bocelli and Piazza dei Priori in Volterra, placed at opposite ends opposite ends of the Sanctuary, trace an axis to support of the exhibition. A dialogue between the fear of doing and the desire to dare. Boogyeman (the bogeyman) is symbolic of the fears we must learn to recognize and administer, which is metaphorically contrasted by the wings of Ikaros, expressing the desire to fly to reach higher levels of awareness. In between, in the ancient Basilica, the Library, the Royal Apartments, in the St. Eusebius Gallery other works also speak of courage, quest, faith, identity, power, wisdom, dignity, ethics, territory. A path as well physically uphill for a reflection on human weaknesses and aspirations.

“The Folds of the Soul”: the title plays on the materiality of an ethereal concept. Can spirituality be tangible?
Spirituality can be inspired and stimulated by art. When with a work we find the way to the beyond. we have created a tangible gateway to the spiritual dimension.

The twisted Christ offers an unusual interpretation of the crucifixion.
It is an analysis of the meaning and use of the symbol in an age when images are devoured without attention. Deprived of the cross, Jesus made man remains. The shoulders constitute the perspective plane that offers resistance to change. An unnatural twisting of the pelvis expresses pain, and invites adaptation to the changing times. Finally, the rear view, in which the head disappears, proposes new meanings, values and teachings. Placed then in dialogue with Our Lady of Oropa, it embodies devotion to the virgin as a constant of existence.


The Sanctuary of Oropa is located 1,159 meters above sea level. Does the altitude help to turn the gazeupward?
The mountain teaches one to get rid of the superfluous if one wants to reach the top. It leads one to look far ahead, to pursue priorities rather than urgencies. A great lesson.

Your sculptures are exhibited in different parts of the world, but your commitment to enhancing the area of origin is constant.
Without memory we have no reference and wander aimlessly. Through gratitude and partial return of what we have received, we feel part of a system, a territory and a culture that open up to the world. An exchange that through art becomes universal.

References in the titles of some works bring seemingly distant imaginaries into dialogue, such as the Greek mythology, ancient Rome, comic books and modern superheroes.
In antiquity, the gods were the superheroes. They interfered with human life even in cruel ways, while today’s ones always save us. I mean to remind ironically that human beings have always needed references to strive toward.

The exhibition
“The Folds of the Soul” by Daniele Basso (curated by Irene Finiguerra) is hosted in the Sanctuary of Oropa at the will of the rector Don Michele Berchi. The exhibition also extends between the Prefecture, the Cloister of San Sebastiano of the Territorial Museum, the Civic Library, Palazzo Ferrero, Palazzo Gromo Losa, Piazza Curiel, the Relais Santo Stefano in Sandigliano, La Bursch in Campiglia Cervo and Yukon in Vigliano Biellese. A reflection on certain aspects of man and contemporaneity, which in dialogue with the sacredness of the place become a spiritual path of growth and faith through art, as also written by Don Giuseppe Tanzella Nitti, professor of Fundamental Theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

The Author

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Freelance journalist and editorial assistant. From linguistic studies she bounces to those of engineering and arrives, through a process of kinetic liberation, to digital marketing. Performing at a gallery in Pietrasanta she meets the director of AW ArtMag in 2019 to which she binds professionally, combining the Stendhal syndrome for Boltanski to the excitment for editing. In the office, she is tête-à-tête with the PC. At home, she looks out of her window, thinking, writing and planning the next reportage.

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