Ar Adesten's amazing logbook

 

During the Elizabethan era, Aar Adesten, was a well-known explorer of Nordic origin whose documented adventures became legendary. In 1554, he set sail from London towards the New World.

 

Thanks to the recent discovery of his ship's logs we have a detailed account of his incredible voyages. Aar's log accounts of the lands he explored are rich and beautifully illustrated. They depict in great detail the exotic flora and fauna he found. Still today, after more than 500 years, the descriptions are of an almost scientific accuracy and still have the power to leave us amazed.

After creating works motivated by visits to the cultural metropolises of New York, Prague and Paris, I decided to use my home town, Turin, as a source of inspiration. This resulted in an exhibition held at The Regional Museum of Natural Science of Turin. The exhibit is a reinterpretation of the style and character of this historic city.

Gianduiottus Camelopardis

 

As tall as 14 main masts and perhaps more, he weighs no more than a sparrow’s feather. Among all the animals we have encountered, he is quite simply the most noble. He does not walk, but dances above the green roof of the forest, imperturbable and peaceful. He never runs nor is he ever fearful. He utters neither song nor sound. When he walks, you cannot hear him approaching. As if he were an ethereal apparition, he casts no shadow. One doubts that his very substance does not differ from that of a mirage. His long and incredibly thin legs anchor him to our earthly dimension because his head is constantly straining skyward and is suspended above the pastures of high cirrus and cumulus clouds on which it is said he grazes. They say that in ancient times he was so tall his head would rub against the sphere of the fixed stars. Then, as time went on, his body began to shrink, becoming smaller and smaller and bringing him closer and closer to the earth. Today, as magnificent as he is, he is merely a shadow of what he once was. Perhaps that is why his life is so peaceful and happy. He thrives on every instant knowing that sooner or later he will sink into in the dark belly of the earth.

 

From the logbook of HMS Lapalisse, by Her Majesty’s Explorer, Aar Adesten.

Lumen Alatus Pulcherrimo


One night, while flying in circles around a candle, three moths discussed the nature of love. Yet, no one word seemed to be enough. Meanings were too poor and ended up only belittling the subject itself. The first moth abruptly veered and nosedived towards the flame. She got close enough just to brush against it, but fearing the heat, she was taken aback. She rejoined her mates saying “There! this is what love is!" The other moths didn’t quite agree. The second one in turn made for the candle, getting so close as to only singe her wings. “There!",  she said, "I know what love is!” However, the other two insisted in denying. Not even this time could they reach an agreement. Finally, the third moth took courage and plunged directly into the flame and was consumed by it. Yes, she had known what love is. The gods, Nature, or whoever it was invested in those roles, being so moved by such an act of love, decided to breathe life anew into the heart of the moth. Immediately she  began flitting about. Since that day, a flicker of that flame has remained glimmering within her  like a wee lantern in the night. Her descendants multiplied and today have become known as  Lumen Alatus Pulcherrimum, or beautiful winged light….

 

From the logbook of HMS Lapalisse, by Her Majesty’s Explorer, Aar Adesten.

The exhibition, entitled "Torineide, de Mirabile et Inaudita Exploratione", is presented as a travel log narrated through a series of diary passages and accompanied by drawings of exotic creatures made by an explorer who navigates the oceans of time to the then of yet unknown land of Turin. The unexplored land offers a blank map onto which one’s imagination can take a flight of fancy in a create way. The sights of this “new world” are portrayed through a series of ink drawings. The drawings are based on medieval bestiary and 16th century travel tales. Symbols, product, monuments and architecture representative of Turin are transformed into fantastic fauna and flora. Architectural details become insects, street lamps fill with fluorescent jellyfish, while the trams that carry dreams are hanging on filaments of spider webs. My idea is to create a series of other cities presented in the same fashion.

Click on the picture to discover the interactive map of Aar Adesten's Turin