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"Building Bridges"

Building Bridges is a project that aims to find common themes in major religions, to highlight what links us to “the other”, “the different”, “the foreigner”. In a world full of wars and fear, these messages offer ideas for building bridges, solidarity, common languages, shared values and especially peace. The title is taken from the words of Pope Francis, who has repeatedly stated the need to build bridges, not walls, to face the problems of the contemporary world. Eleonora Esse rediscovers simple, powerful and universal codes, recognisable by all. Words, lights, colors are primordial symbols and convey immediate messages even to the most heterogeneous public. Three messages, centered on essential values, are shown as LED signs and placed at a location where the notion of value - in a literal or figurative sense - is the center of activities: The Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

Charity today is a duty for any human being who has more than enough for himself. There are no excuses. It is a sad fact that someone dies of hunger or hunger-related causes every ten seconds ( Charity is an essential practice for Christians; for Jews, to whom the Torah prescribes giving 10% of one’s annual income to righteous deeds or causes; for Muslims, for whom the "Zakat" (charity) is one of the five pillars of their religion. The practice of charity is called Dāna in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Humanity is weak and vulnerable, no matter where you are on the social scale and what your income is. The concept of Mercy appears in most religions including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Chivalry and Hinduism.

To try to abstain from sin gives joy, maybe not immediately, but in the longer term. The use of the term "saint" is not exclusive to Christianity. Many religions have similar concepts, referring to people who fulfilled the highest aspirations of religious teaching within their tradition. All these models of spiritual perfection are deeply linked to true and durable joy.

More information on "Building Bridges"

The Artist

Eleonora Esse

Eleonora Sgaravatti is an Italian artist and curator, born and raised in Rome. After earning a degree in Art and Cinema Studies at the University of Rome and completing a course in curating practices, she organised and curated contemporary art exhibitions, “Outart 2004” and “Outart 2006”, in public and private spaces. She also managed Spazio Punctum, a non-profit art space in Rome for two years where she promoted young artists.

Her artistic inspiration lies in her desire to express Christian values in a contemporary and visual way. Catalysed by her personal conversion to Christianity and by the realisation that there was a lack of such themes in the modern art world, she created and exhibited her first artwork, Nuova Era (New Era) under the pseudonym of Eleonora Esse. This same artwork inspired the historic RAM Radioartemobile gallery in Rome to name their coming exhibition of Luigi Ontani, Emilio Prini, Vettor Pisani, with the same title “Nuova Era”, where she was invited to write an exhibition introduction.

She has also presented L’albero della vita (The tree of life) in the public square of Piazza Capranica, Rome, in 2009.

She then took a break from art, having the need of exploring other aspects of herself - in particular her relationship with children. After earning a Montessori diploma in childhood education, she moved to Stockholm where she worked for five years as a Montessori pre-school teacher and where her two daughters were born.

For personal reasons, she moved to Frankfurt in January 2017, where she lives with her family. Thanks to the joy and strength that motherhood has given her, she has started working again in the art world. She is currently working on charity and intercultural issues, using LED lights, luminous paint, plexiglass, and photography. 

instagram: elesgara
facebook: eleonora sgaravatti

About Luminale

The Luminale is a biennale for light art and has been held in Frankfurt every other year since 2010. Light art lights up public and private buildings in Frankfurt. In recent years more than 200 projects have been exhibited and attracted almost 180.000 visitors. Since 2017 the art festival is organised by Luminale e.V. More information at

The Venue

Frankfurt School of Finance & Management is one of Europe’s leading business schools. In autumn 2017 the business school opened its new campus in Frankfurt's Adickesalle. The campus was build according to the architectural design of Henning Larsen Architects.

The clean, Scandinavian design by Danish architectural firm Henning Larsen has also turned the campus into an architectural icon for the City of Frankfurt. The five offset tower blocks are connected by a canyon-like mall. Via this “Zeil of Knowledge”, students can reach all key parts of the campus.

In front of the building, five mini-landscapes portray the continents of Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe. The groups of trees and shrubs reflect the international spirit of Frankfurt School and its students, who come from all over the world. The interior décor of the five tower blocks picks up on this theme – each building’s wall decoration symbolises one of the five continents.