• The entrance to the Arsenale; Painting by Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto) year 1732 The entrance to the Arsenale; Painting by Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto) year 1732
  • Overview of the two towers with installation Overview of the two towers with installation
  • Steel tubes are being bent and shaped in a forge Steel tubes are being bent and shaped in a forge
  • Attached tubes are being formed into a ROOT shape to fit the exact measurement of the final site. Attached tubes are being formed into a ROOT shape to fit the exact measurement of the final site.
  • Lateral ROOTS are being welded to the main one Lateral ROOTS are being welded to the main one
  • Sections of the ROOTS are being painted red Sections of the ROOTS are being painted red
  • Finished and crated work is being loaded on a truck going to Norfolk, Virginia to get on a boat going to Venice Finished and crated work is being loaded on a truck going to Norfolk, Virginia to get on a boat going to Venice
  • Arrived at S.Marta in the lagoon of Venice the parts are ready to be put together Arrived at S.Marta in the lagoon of Venice the parts are ready to be put together
  • Two main ROOTS are lifted and placed on a barge that will be on its way to the Arsenale Two main ROOTS are lifted and placed on a barge that will be on its way to the Arsenale
  • Barge with cranes and installation arrive at the Arsenale Barge with cranes and installation arrive at the Arsenale
  • The tide is too low for the barge to get to the right spot, so a wooden pile had to be taken out to make room The tide is too low for the barge to get to the right spot, so a wooden pile had to be taken out to make room
  • The two cranes begin the work The two cranes begin the work
  • The first piece is attached to a bolted plate on one of the towers The first piece is attached to a bolted plate on one of the towers
  • A horizontal ROOT is lifted to be hooked to the towers A horizontal ROOT is lifted to be hooked to the towers
  • After the horizontal ROOTS are in place the protective bubble wrap is removed After the horizontal ROOTS are in place the protective bubble wrap is removed
  • The installation has just been finished The installation has just been finished
  • The barge is gone and the wire to block boats from going in , is up – this is a naval military base. The barge is gone and the wire to block boats from going in , is up – this is a naval military base.
  • What if Roots Could Grow in the Waters of the Arsenale, 2011 What if Roots Could Grow in the Waters of the Arsenale, 2011
  • What if Roots Could Grow in the Waters of the Arsenale, 2011 What if Roots Could Grow in the Waters of the Arsenale, 2011

What If Roots Could Grow In The Waters Of The Arsenale
On the occasion of the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale
Arsenale, Venice, Italy 2011

To celebrate the 54th Venice Art Biennale (June 1 - November 27, 2011), as a tribute to the city of Venice, the Italian Navy is displaying "…. WHAT IF ROOTS COULD GROW IN THE WATERS OF THE ARSENALE?....", an installation by the American sculptor,  Dalya Yaari Luttwak.

This corner of Venice was the expression of the power of the Republic through the glorious Navy. In the Golden Age of Canaletto it was already decaying. Today this sculptor dreams of a new life emerging from the waters of Venice and creates an ideal aerial bridge above the traditional and solid Venetian bridges.

The installation spans the two towers at the end of the Rio del Arsenale which overlooks the entrance to the Bacino del Arsenale. Emerging from the water, the sculpture climbs up along one tower nearly 15 meters then reaches across another 16 meters to the second tower appropriating the hooks eternalized by Canaletto.  The sculpture, inspired by the root of the ivy, is of mild steel in bright red.

The artist has been visiting Italy for many years and found great inspiration in its magnificence and layers of history.  The Arsenale is a powerful symbol of the continuing Italian naval tradition, as well as a glorious memorial to the power of the Venetian republic.  The two towers of the Porta Magna built to protect the entrance to the Arsenale. The hidden beauty of "roots" finds a special echo in Venice, the city born out of water. 

Since 2007 the artist has been working on a series of large-scale steel sculptures that symbolically represent the root systems of various plants.  At times she works from the roots themselves, which she digs out of the earth; other times she photographs, copies or draws roots as the basis for her work. The artist tries to uncover the hidden beauty of roots, exploring the relationship between what grows above the ground and the invisible parts below.  Her sculptures reveal what nature prefers to conceal. Her wish "is to uncover and discover roots even when they are hidden, indeed especially when they are hidden

The artist's work has been honored in solo exhibitions at the American University Museum's Katzen Arts Center, at James Madison University's Sawhill Gallery, and in group exhibitions in the Art Museum of the Americas, among other museums and galleries in the United States, Mexico, Germany and Israel. Her work is critically reviewed by journals such as Art Papers and Sculpture, as well as in the numerous catalogues of group exhibition. In 2010 she was Artist-in-Residence and Guest Critic for James Madison University's College of Visual and Performing Arts. The artist is scheduled to have a solo exhibition in 2012 at the Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery in Rome and other venues in Italy.