Church Wall, Bakery Wall
I wish all of you the very nicest of holiday times.
Life is Sweet
This was a day of generosity. In a nearby small town I came across this beautiful bunting wrapped, church doorway. No doubt ready for a procession for a saint’s day, or a wedding, or who knows what festive event the town was making, but it made me happy just looking at the way the space was redefined by some simple fabric hanging on the facade.
Then, returning home, a bounty of offerings appeared; Silvia came by with a cake she just baked, then her mother-in-law stopped by with some fresh ricotta she had made from the new sheep they recently bought, then a man from Buonconvento, on the way to his sister’s place, stopped by to bring us a box of figs from his amazingly productive tree. All that, and some eggplants from the garden, which I roasted and turned into baba ganouj became a summer dinner. And a still life, and a portrait of a building. You work with what you have.
Life is sweet!
Trust Your Instinct
These fire roasted artichokes, ash covered and charred, were sitting on a plate in the kitchen where I passed them many times during that day, each time thinking. “I have to get to them, peel and quarter them, and cover with olive oil and garlic and some wild herbs.” I finally got around to it after first taking them to the studio and setting them up in a little corner I had just built.
This corner has played a significant part in what has happened since I made these first corner series images. It amazes me still that one can do something on impulse, like decide to build a corner and put things in it, and then have that innocent instinct develop into an intense new way of working. It’s like coming to the proverbial fork in the road and having to choose left or right, and whatever you choose determines the rest of your life. It just does!
This corner series (although not these artichokes) is something I am now working on for the EXPO 2015 World’s Fair in Milano, opening this May. I’m making four large, triangular, totem-like columns about 20 feet tall. And the images on them will be bread portraits from bakeries all over Italy. I have a Pavilion all to myself, well there are about 9 countries represented in the Pavilion, but the theme – Cereals and Tubers (Feed The Planet is the Fair’s Theme) – is mine to work on, and because it’s a grain pavilion the work became about Bread. And all this has come alive precisely because when I made this image I began working in a new way.
It pays to trust your instinct.