9th September, Seravezza
Today I took myself on a bike to Seravezza, a town not far from Pietrasanta towards the Apuan Alps. I am looking up at these mountains and think what efforts Michaelangelo must have undergone to shift marble, it is sheer unbelievable!! Being a keen boulder shifter myself knowing how much hard work it is with all the modern technology available, it takes my breath away to think what it must have been like to move massive blocks of marble in the 16th century.
8th September, Pietrasanta
On Saturday I made sense of my visit when I met Christian Lange sculptor and artisan on the same site as the Stagetti Marble Studio.
Christian and I made contact before my arrival and figured that we grew up some villages away from each other in the mountains of the Rhön/ Germany. He worked for over 20 years for world renowned sculptors here in Pietrasanta and as well as working on commissions he teaches stone carving here in Pietrasanta, check it out!!
The workshops on this site keep the ancient tradition and skill of stonemasonry alive, the carvings are of figurative nature often religious but time is not standing still as CNC cutting robots producing fascinating work of the here and now, reflecting on the robotic process.
The Cooperativa has many workshops, a foundary and galerias, visited by the rich clients and on the other spectrum intrigued arty ones like myself.
Christian invited me to work in his workshop whilst I am here…
now…my visit makes even more sense.
I helped myself to a little piece of marble out of the skip and skipped back to the flat to start working.
I was given advise that if I wonder through town on a Saturday evening I can be sure to bump into a PV (with generous spread to safe myself from cooking supper).
I ventured through the streets to find not one but several PV’s..work that touched me was by Sian Smith
Everything is lively till midnight, galleries are open, concerts fill the air with sounds, I ended up going to a poetry reading only understanding…gli uomini/ la donna/ feminista…taking in the atmosphere, body language and enjoyment of the crowd understanding every word.
I spent the evening with..
Columba a Italian photographer (details to follow)
Simone Eissreich eissrich.com
Neil Ferber neilferber.co.uk
Midnight arrived when I went home filled with art, history and the friendliness of strangers.
Underneath all this I am of course thinking about my work and what to make whilst in Christians workshop for most of next week. Back in the UK I thought of continuing my letter carving installation project whilst here. Currently my drawings are steering towards form, light and gravity.
On my way..6am departure lounge Bristol airport..sleepy faces, disorientated, vulnerable softness, meets hardcore consumerism, brightly lit shops, glitzy black floors, long queues in Superdrug and Starbucks, we are told what to do in the most sneaky and blunt way that seems harsh at any time but especially at this time of day…bright sunlight as I am walking to the Gate…shadows often wake me up music in one ear, keeping myself to myself…every now and then a face fascinates me and I can’t help but stare…at those sleepy faces.
The first moments of arrival feel like stale bread..a different country..I barely speak a word of Italian and shy to ask if people speak English, the atmosphere of this little town breaths tourism, has churches at every corner and a villa on a hill near by…will explore tomorrow.
Why did I come here? I guess to experience some history of stone carving and this can certainly be seen round every corner..courtyards open up to marble carving workshops, every little street has several ‘galerias’ selling accessible work..a living is made.
I am in search for something quite different and I guess for this I need to take myself away from the mainstream.