1st Italian Biennale of Creativity, VERONA
Click to view VIDEO of 1st Biennale of Creativity
I enjoyed very much exhibiting at the 1st Biennale of Creativity in Verona, which took place 12-16th February 2014. It was a very large event with over 900 artists exhibiting more than 3000 works of art.
I was very pleased to have two artworks selected by the jury. These artworks are examples of my Abstract Carved Wood Series (2013). They are both painted in Oil on carved wood that has been treated and prepared for painting. I wanted to change the rules of exhibition so I went to the mountains in Turkey and bought a tree. I hired a truck and brought it to the sawmill. I had it sliced vertically and horizontally to give me different shapes and sizes of wood. At first I painted onto natural shapes but then I began to carve them as a way of adding structure to the composition.
These two artworks were inspired by a conversation between myself, Mme Beatrice Cofield and Anne McCann. We were discussing the difficulties and challenges associated with hyperactive behaviour and considering how to channel human emotional energy in a constructive way. Beatrice Cofield is involved in using art as a a means to support the development of children and young people. As a result of this conversation I produced the two paintings. The aim was to try to visually express the difference in how intelligence and emotional energy are channelled. Hyperactive is my attempt to express how the hyperactive child is like an intense emotional whirlwind with many different aspects of personality, all seemingly difficult to control. It was inspired by conversations about the challenges of working with hyperactive children and discussions about how to use creative processes to help them to express or release feelings and channel them constructively. I use large carved profiles and my Turkish Whirling technique to create small hidden portraits with a range of expressions to convey the emotional energy bound up in this subject.
In Genius I use the same style and technique to show that similar emotional energy, intelligence and various aspects of personality all exist in the individual. The main difference is that the energy is channelled in a more constructive way that facilitates creativity, which means the child functions more effectively in the material world.
I like to keep these works together as a pair because they each examine a different perspective on how human energy is channeled and expressed in the life.
Lots of people came onto the stand and we had many interesting conversations about the works. I know from these conversations that Italian people are really interested about the art. They understand very much that art is to just about decorating the wall and that art has meaning to talk to the people and help them see the world in a different or new way.
I met Italian art critic, art historian Vittorio Sgarbi (pictured left) when he came onto the stand and talked to me about my work.
Paolo Levi, Art Critic and Director of Effetto Arte, also visited the stand and we talked about my works. I don’t speak very good Italian and it was helpful to have a translator so that we could have a conversation.
Salvatore Russo, Art Critic, also stopped by my stand to say hello. Salvatore has written very eloquently about my works. He understands the art very well and makes very beautiful words to interpret what he sees.
82 Artists were selected to be considered for the Shakespeare Award and my painting GENIUS was chosen. The works of these selected artists were included in this award catalogue.
We met French Artist Laurence Eichenlaub and her husband Yvon. Laurence was also one of the artists selected for the Shakespeare Award. She has developed her own own visual language and style and describes her works as painting the colour of emotions. We enjoyed very much happy times at Sirmione, on the shores of Lake Garda, enjoying few glasses of Aperol Spritz.
I got many great photographs of faces in the rocks and trees.
I see many hidden faces in nature and I adapt these forms into abstract portraits to express the emotions I feel or those that echo all around me. We also spent some time at the “Arena di Verona“, which is a Roman amphitheatre built in 1st century.
I took hundreds of photographs inside the Arena because I could see many faces in the stones. My feeling is that the rocks were crying to me about all of the pain and death that had been experienced within this place. The photographs have many abstract faces with expressions of anguish. I feel the gladiators left their imprint on the stones. I see them silently screaming and crying their pain down through the centuries.
I have posted a few of the pictures below.
They give me much inspiration for my paintings.
I can see and feel much pain…
These hidden portraits are likely to appear in my future works.