‘Per aspera ad astra’: the old Latin adage, meaning “A rough road leads to the stars”, seems fit to describe the hard work of creating and setting up light installations. Looking at De Cagna’s portfolio – the company, based in Maglie, Lecce, is now one of the oldest and most important in its field in Italy – you might think there is no limit to the wonders men can create with light.
But the process leading to these magnificent results is long and complex. First, men kneel on the asphalt to sketch the outline of an intricate projection, relying on their imagination and expertise to design structures covered in an abundance of colorful light bulbs.
The wooden frameworks are laid out on the sketch, to make sure that the array of circles, rails, arches, rosettes, and plumes can compose the planned design.
The light bulbs are painted in a range of colors, and painstakingly inserted in the framework.
This long labor starts on the ground, and only in the end can rise up – reaching incredible heights of beauty, filling our eyes with light and color. Saint Domenica – the patron of Scorrano, in the province of Lecce – is celebrated every year in early July with installations by De Cagna, lighting up the streets and buildings.
And after such hard work, these “stars” seem to shine brighter than ever.