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WaterFire Roma!

Photograph by Erin Smithers.

From sunset to midnight on September 21th and 22nd 2012, Barnaby Evans in cooperation with the City of Rome and in association with Tevereterno created a WaterFire installation on the Tiber River between Ponte Sisto and Ponte Giuseppe Mazzini on the Vatican side of the river near the old city.

The lighting of thirty braziers was created with help of volunteers from both Rome and Providence, including the Rome program at the Rhode Island School of Design. WaterFire Roma 2012 was sponsored by GTECH, the Lottomatica Group,  the De Agostini Group, and Il Gioco del Lotto, as well as the City of Rome. The WaterFire Roma project was co-produced by Pino Fortunato of Fortunato Productions and the lighting included a further iteration of Robert Hammond’s Chance Encounters installation and Moveable Space, a dance installation by the choreographer Linda Foster.  The lighting was the first large-scale lighting of WaterFire in Europe, after the lighting in Singapore in September of 2011 and smaller projects by Evans in both Rome and Venice (as part of the Architectural Biennale).  Barnaby Evans has also been in collaboration with Tevereterno, a project focused on advancing the banks of the Tiber as a site for art installations, which has been an ongoing effort of former Providence resident and RISD graduate Kristin Jones, who has installed a series of public artworks along the Tiber.

Photograph by Thomas Payne.

  • Mayor Angel Taveras and an economic trade delegation traveled to Rome for the occasion. While in Rome, Mayor Taveras met with Marco Sala, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Lottomatica, on Friday, September 21st at Lottomatica’s corporate offices.  He also had an official meeting with Rome Mayor Gianni Alemmano in his office in City Hall on Friday, September 21st.  Mr. Sala will be accompanying Mayor Taveras on this visit.   Mayor Taveras and representatives from the Roman Mayors office attended and participated in the lighting ceremony the opening night performance of WaterFire on the Tiber in Piazza Tevere.
  • Barnaby Evans has been working on bringing WaterFire to Italy over the past five years.  Further praise for this project came from the Cicilline administration with a focus on establishing a cultural exchange.   Mayor Cianci created the successful Splendor of Florence international exchange in 1999 with an exchange of artisans, artists, art and music.  WaterFire Roma was presented with sponsors and funding from Italy. Donations and support for WaterFire in Providence remain here in support of the project in Providence in accordance with the wishes of the donors.
GIANLUCA LANZILLOTTA performs MoveAble Space by choreographer Linda Foster in the Oculus of Ponte Sisto

About the author

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Over the last 10+ years, alongside some incredible co-workers and volunteers, I've worked to build the organization that WaterFire Providence is today. As Director of Creative Services, my team and I work on visual communications, graphic design, the visitor experience, merchandising as well as project management for programming at the WaterFire Arts Center. Being a part of the 'Rhode Island' experience for tens of thousands of people is incredible and I have an intense pride in place for both Downtown Providence and the Valley neighborhood.

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