Jewels of Nature
by nature the secrets and the reasons (De Rerum Natura, Lucrezio)
On seeing an old ginkgo leaf on your path, how could you possibly fail to pick it up and look around you to discover where it might have come from, its tree and then to think back over the leaf’s journey, imagine the winds, search for clues and similar leaves.One day at Neuchâtel, a similar event took me, as if through the avenues of a labyrinth, to the rear of an old house, transformed into a primary school…Hidden in a small green area behind an outbuilding, amid ladders, gates and a greenhouse, there he was, the Ginkgo, neglected like a tired-out minotaur.
Is it a fish, a bird, a sea devil, a manta, a ray fish? This tiny “Concord” of the seas, touching, perfect creature of the deep.
It was me he was addressing, sunny and brazen “Oi , mister…!” he called with omnivorous eyes, the small cuban boy- come –tour-guide, simulateously both novice and veteran. It takes but a few hours to become friends, travel companions. Oye became our key word. Then it became his name. Then it was transformed into a backpack, a minipilot, that literally stuck to me. Oye takes his first steps across the human body, jumping, climbing and running, hanging from a wire, he mutliplies and he and his brothers wrap themselves around an arm. He takes form. From paleolithic graffiti to the diver of Paestum, from Haring to the green man in the traffic lights, it’s him – always. Oye – tiny human jewel on the body of the world.
What else could you expect from a family of goldsmiths who live by this legendary sea! Naturally, we express our “Neapolitan-ness” through the story of the sea, through its legends and the creatures it hosts. May we present “Gambo”, marine monster or cute prawn? Who cares? – the attraction he holds is his intrinsic motion. He advances and retreats, turning his back on problems, danger and enemies. Armoured intelligence, in keeping with the times? Sure! But something else attracts us: might we possibly identify with him? Today, we have become “part prawn”, we are “Gambo” because we have reached “the quasi realisation” that we no longer want to turn our backs and keep looking forward.
Yes, we truly are “maritime” goldsmiths. We have a passion for the sea, its legends, its mythical creatures, its ghosts, all draw us in and bewitch us. Today, after years of mermaids, dolphins and manta rays, OBO emerges , from the essential sea of our mind, the most unlikely character of the marine fauna. OBO, twisted and multifom, charming and bizzare, the imaginative heir of the Guardian Spirit / Genius Loci of the deeps, disputable son of improbable Ceto and Idra Murenica. He has come to us to fill the empty spaces left by his predecessors in the fantastic unreal.