Aeolian Migration Public Art Project-Piazza Eolie

Piazza Eolie
Piazza Eolie

The City of Canada Bay in partnership with the Aeolian Association have produced three artworks collectively known as Piazza Eolie and will form a showcase to celebrate the community’s contribution to our City.

Piazza Eolie Sculptures

The Aeolian Community is one of Canada Bay’s earliest Italian migrant settlers group, they arrived here in the early 1900 as refugees from the volcanic eruption that took place at the time. The Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago (made up of 8 Islands) in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, off the coast of Italy and named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus.  

Piazza Eolie Sculptures were developed by local artist Nola Diamantopoulos.

The fishing boat sculpture is created to represent the journey of the Eolian community to Australia, and its elements are inspired by Eolian folk law and traditions.  

It tells one of the miracle stories of St Bartholomew, the patron saint chosen by the Eolian’s from the Isle of Lipari. Once, on a St Bartholemew’s feast day, the islanders were carrying the statue of their saint through the town. Suddenly, the statue felt heavier, so heavy the men were forced to put it down.  They only made it a few steps further before it was again too heavy to carry. On the third attempt, the men could barely lift it and were  unable to move it forward. At that moment, further downhill a wall collapsed. If the statue had been able to be lifted, all the townspeople would have been killed.  

The boat sculpture is symbolic of the mystery of a journey that, sooner or later, reveals its purpose. This boat is gently tilted on its side, suggesting that the landing in Australia was purposeful and that the Eolian community were destined to be here to the enrichment of the Australian culture.  

The God of Wind, Aeolus, is represented in a mosaic on the boat to remind us that we alone cannot steer our life.  

The fish sculpture benches are an homage to the fishing villages of the Eolian Islands. The mosaic design of the fish that sits within the bench was inspired by a classical mosaic called ‘Asaraton’, which means ‘unswept floor’ and the mosaic floor was inlaid with representations of scraps of food that had fallen to the floor – hence the skeletal fish.    

This artwork was funded with support from Arts NSW.

Project information

The aim of the project is to work with the Aeolian Community to create a celebratory public art project with the following art elements:

  • Specifically designed seating
  • A sculptural entry statement.
  • Graphic arts / design for a mural
  • Banner flags were also produced.  

More information

Page last updated on: 18/10/13

Isole Eolie/Aeolian Islands

Celebrate Aeolian migration by accessing photos and youtube videos of Eolie Sydney, Eolie Community Flickr, Ferragosto, LaFamiglia, Isole Eolie (photos) and Isole Eolie (YouTube).
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