Many of us remember playing with some sort of building blocks growing up. While the plastic LEGO bricks might be the most well-known, Dutch brand KAPLA has been producing chunky wooden planks since the 1960s. Italian artist Raffaele Salvoldi began using this nostalgic childhood activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. This pastime quickly blossomed into an ongoing project titled Wood Arc, in which he constructs enormous towers entirely from KAPLA blocks.
From far away, these massive structures may seem like they are made from woven rattan or a similar process, but they are actually a result of Salvoldi's meticulous process. He takes his time adding each individual block to slowly create buildings that spiral, twist, and loom in historic spaces. So, it's no surprise that each of these sculptures requires at least three weeks of building time, which sometimes stretches to four months depending on the complexity of the design.
Wood Arc is not solely about the wooden structures but also about how these works interact with their environment. Salvoldi installs each one in a space that is full of history and culture. “Europe is rich in places of incredible beauty: palaces, exhibition spaces, and historical houses. Some are famous and often used, others are less known but occasionally come back to life through specific events,” he explains to My Modern Met. “Wood Arc project finds its home in these almost forgotten, enchanting spaces; it comes to life slowly, in two months or longer, through the creation of installation art that gradually rises in harmony with the rooms that host them.”
You can keep up to date with Salvoldi's latest projects by following him on Instagram.