Matthew Mazzotta: Pier Shear—A rural proposition for an urban opportunity

Pier Shear / Strizenje Lukobrana
by artist Matthew Mazzotta
Rijeka, Croatia
April 21-May 21


Rijeka, Croatia—On April 21st, as part of Pier Shear, a project developed by ACT alumnus Matthew Mazzotta, seven sheep were moved from the countryside to their new home on the Rijeka’s main shipping pier to help (re)imagine what the pier could be. Additionally, seven artists and craftspeople working with wool installed new works of art directly on the pier. Using the metaphor of transformation, Pier Shear was public art project that provides the raw materials, location and context for these artists to create artworks made of wool. In doing so, the project invited unique voices to explore Rijeka’s past and present, while revealing the complexity of the city’s transitioning future.

Using the unscripted space of the shipping pier as the location to bring voice to the changes happening in Rijeka and Croatia, Pier Shear is now changing people’s leisure habits and maybe the way they see and inhabit their city. “It’s like the High-Line in New York, when they turned the unused elevated train tracks into a park, there is really only one reason to go there, and that is to have time to walk and think,” said Mazzotta.

Since the opening, the pier serves as a community space. Although the show was at the very end of the 1.8 kilometer pier, hundreds of people gathered each day on the pier. Visitors engaged with the art installations, read artists’ statements, and met their friends while enjoying a new perspective of the city and the surrounding sea.

Pier Shear was a collaboration between Musagetes (, the Port Authority of Croatia, the City of Rijeka Department of Culture, artists, animal rights groups, as well as a local veterinarian and a shepherd.


To read the full press release, click here.
For full details, photos, history, and context go to
Click here for a video of the story and concept behind Pier Shear / Strizenje Lukobrana.