Monthly Archives: August 2012

sketching in between all the contemporary bits…

Still finding a little time for some sketching in between all this contemporary art business i seem to fill my life with:

Materials: Stabio point 88 fine tip pens (i like the challenge, it’s not exactly the most yielding of materials!) on small moleskin notebooks…

fern from Gorgomoro, Biella, front and back

palm tree in galicia

cactus from San Rocco, nr Camoglie

palm in Biella (from a hammock, life is not normally this good…)

fern from Gorgomoro, Biella

natura morta…

Found a desiccated dragonfly on the street in Biella, huge it was, 11cm wing span. Placed it gently on a red table to photograph, it is literally crumbling in my hands. Called it natura morta which is the Italian for still life but the literal translation is dead nature…which seemed apt…

the re-appropriating nature of nature…

The town of Biella in northern Italy used to be one of the centres of wealth and industry for the country, due to a huge industrial boom (mainly textile) in the early 20th century, and a second financial boom in the 1980’s. Economically it has been down hill ever since and now the landscape is peppered with abandoned factories from a bygone era, this one, by the Cervo river is currently being reclaimed by the nature that surrounds it. An almost ecclesiastical architecture complete with gothic vaulted windows it is a breathtakingly beautiful space. It is now surrounded by vines and creeping plants that are slowly entering the building through every available crack and crevice…

invading plants like green stained-glass…

self portrait – upper level

nature reclaiming…

workers changing room

lower level

seaside italian style…

So the Italian middle class are a lucky lot…families tend to hold on to their houses from generation to generation so that often, as well as the family home, there will also be a house at the seaside and also maybe even one up in the mountains…With great good fortune have been regularly invited over the years to the tiny village of San Rocco in Liguria to one such family home, perched high up on forested hills over-looking the Mediterranean…

San Rocco perched on top of the hill – mid photo

Below San Rocco is Camoglie; the less chi-chi (but still eye-wateringly expensive) neighbouring town to Portofino…

The beach Italian style…you pay money for the umbrella or you tough it out under the remorseless sun on the shingle…folks here don’t seem to be bothered by the masses and like their beaches CROWDED!!! This is not a particularly busy day!

panorama of the beach at Camoglie, click on image for a better view…

To get down to Camoglie from San Rocco you descend 220 meters down some stone steps passing through olive groves and the backs of people’s houses, on one of the walls i found these little figures inserted into the mortar, some are tiny, the size of my thumbnail…

Oh yes, and camoglie has a fish festival in May that involves cooking fish on a MASSIVE scale! the photo below shows to old frying pans! Fact!

clinging on for dear life…

It’s a short train journey from vigliano-candelo to biella but i guess it felt like a long one for this grasshopper which clung on for dear life to the outside of the train window…

Actually it’s not really clinging on that much, in the end my new green friend is so damn casual it even takes the time to nibble on its own insecty feet…When i filmed it, it made me think of the dodgy special effect from some japanese si-fi monster movie from the ’50’s…giant and flying through the countryside…terrorising the locals…!