Giauli: reality and imagination carved out of wood
Lampo, born Mauro Olivotto, has been carving wood for the past thirty years. He favors Swiss pine, a long-lived species that thrives at an altitude between 1,600 and 2,100 meters, and is widespread in the Dolomites near Belluno.
Lampo’s expert hands create interesting, original shapes such as the bizarre “Giauli”, an imaginary population of gnomic beings that stem from his love for the mountains surrounding his hometown. He has written a book about them with Alessandra Piller Cottrer, “La terra dei Giauli”, and assures us “you can meet, and even touch” these eccentric little beings in real life. His book tells a story that began millions of years ago in the Dolomites and continues to this day.
The Giauli have “witnessed the continents forming, breaking apart, being molded by the elements and flooded, and finally emerging once again, more beautiful than ever”; they have seen prehistoric plants and animals appear and disappear; most importantly, they have lived in a state of “unwavering harmony with Nature”. Now they want to find kind-hearted men – whom they call “Puroidi”, as opposed to “Unoidi” who are “superficial, and interested only in owning and using things” – to encourage them to live in the same way.
Look for them if you have the chance to travel to the Dolomites. As you can see from the photos in our gallery, some have already been lucky enough to meet them.
Photos via: Mauro Lampo, Alessandra Piller Cottrer, “La Terra dei Giauli”, Edizioni Filò, Belluno 2013