Opening on May 22nd, and running through until July 21st on LEA 25, Da Vinci’s World is a fascinating insight into the life, work and times of Leonardo da Vinci which has been four years in the making.
The full region installation is a beautiful piece conceived and built by Sniper Siemens which includes no fewer than 25 reproductions of da Vinci’s machines and engineering marvels together with reproductions of many of his works of art and his drawings and papers, all presented in a rural setting modelled da Vinci’s (and Sniper’s) native Tuscany. Within this setting also stand models of the Castello dei Conti Guidi and the Church of Santa Croce, from the town of Vinci, and a model of the farmhouse a short distance from the village, where Leonardo was born.
“Da Vinci’s World” is a project born 4 years ago,” Sniper says of the piece, “The construction of the first machine of Leonardo was almost by accident. Now after several exhibitions including one from my friend Mexi Lane to the MIC I had the opportunity, thanks to LEA, to be able to realize my dream.”
In developing the installation, Sniper not only shows her own passion for da Vinci’s life and works, she also brings to bear her knowledge as a long-term mentor and helper: the entire region is carefully laid-out, the exhibits spread along walkways which progress you through the installation from the arrivals point through to the buildings of da Vinci’s birthplace, with plenty of singage along the way. Each piece includes an information giver offering notecards in a number of languages.
The machines on display represent a good cross-section of de Vinci’s work, with offensive and defensive weapons standing alongside various flying machines, and mechanical systems such as hydraulic pumps, swing bridges, musical instruments and his architectural designs, all which combine to present a vivid picture of de Vinci’s genius.
The attention to detail is wonderful. Not only are the machines very well constructed and scripted, wander into the buildings and you’ll find da Vinci’s paintings on the walls, and his papers, sketches and notes scattered across tables or piled on the floor as if dropped there as the great man himself ran through his works and ideas, adding notes here and there or revising plans before hurrying off somewhere just before you reached the room…
There is also more whimsical element to the exhibition as well – inside one of the buildings is a piece freely inspired by the film the Da Vinci Code, offering a chance to mixed fact with fiction.
This is very much an installation worth taking the time to explore. The wealth of information is huge, and the setting and exhibits worthy of the time taken visit.
- Da Vinci’s World (Rated: Moderate)
When visiting Da Vinci’s World, note the region has dedicated windlight settings; those used in the images here are of my own choosing.