The Mosaic of Andreina


The Church of the Holy Spirit lacked a square, a welcoming place where people could gather to sit, chat and discuss ideas. A space with the right dimensions was the parvis of the church, used until then as a parking lot. Some challenges emerged: the surface needing upgrade was very large and constantly exposed to the weather. Moreover, there were no resources to start the project. 


The solution for the first challenge was inspired by Antoni Gaudì and his Barcelona mosaics which were realized with the trecandis technique. The square would be upgraded with the creation of a large floor mosaic. The first challenge was acquiring the materials. If there were no financial resources available, the materials needed to come cost free. Andreina had another intuition: the mosaic would be realised with waste materials and end products -- stoneware, majolica, cotto tiles, clinker, polychrome marbles and glass. Donors soon arrived, mostly citizens of Indicatore and local building suppliers. Later, larger producers of construction materials joined the effort.


At this point, the focus turned to the subject of the mosaic. The choice became the "Vision of Ezekiel", inspired by the Book of Ezekiel from the Old Testament. The mosaic would represent a reinterpretation of the Spring of the Temple and of the fight between Good and Evil. 

And so the mosaic "was born from nothing". 


The mosaic began to take shape tile by tile, covering 2600 sq ft of parvis. The square, originally paved in asphalt, became an explosion of shapes and colors.

From the church's entrance door, it appears a river is flowing, its waters clear and deep. Big, gaudily colored fish are abundant and the trees on its banks are lush with fruit. The scene is an hymn to life and to its explosive strength. To the right of the entrance door, a very different image is presented. Here the waters are those of a salt lake and harbor no life. On the contrary, they take it away. The colors are less vibrant. Plants and vegetation suffer. Together, the images tell the story of the endless battle between Good and Evil, the fight between the irresistible power of the forces promoting life and the strength of those opposing it.


With the completion of the parvis, the Church of the Holy Spirit got its square. Meanwhile, the mosaic received attention from art critics and from the local and national press. Soon, the first tourists started to arrive. Unexpectedly, most have come from Northern Europe.

Andreina and Don Santi have been invited to present the project in several Italian institutions. The mosaic became part of the database of The International  Center for Documentation of Mosaic, an archive created from the MAR - Museum of Art of the city of Ravenna.