Petrit Halilaj, Alvaro Urbano, 16th of March 2019 (Tulips), 2020, Stainless steel, canvas, acrylic paint, thread, 2 flowers, each element: 300 × 130 × 130 cm ø 130 cm
The sculpture 16th of March 2019 (Tulips), 2020 was created for Halilaj’s solo exhibition, To a raven and hurricanes that from unknown places bring back smells of humans in love at the Palacio Cristal, Madrid. Inspired by the extraordinary courtship ritual of bowerbirds, in which the birds build elaborate structures (‘bowers’) and adorn them with whatever colorful objects they can find, Halilaj constructed a nest of his own to fill the vaulted glass halls of the building. Decorating the gathered branches enveloping the space with gargantuan, lushly hued flowers in full bloom, Halilaj transformed the Palacio Cristal into an avian landscape in celebration of his upcoming marriage to his partner and artistic collaborator Alvaro Urbano. Halilaj and Urbano worked together on the creation of the flowers, each type with its own symbolic meaning and personal history: forsythia, palm seeds, cherry blossom, poppy, carnation and lily.