2015 Residency details coming soon…

Thank you so much for your many enquries and for your patience!
We are finally about to publish the details about the Palazzo Rinaldi residencies 2015…all will be revealed next week…stay tuned!

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The countdown has started!

Noepoli PZ  Noepoli artists Palazzo Rinaldi   Palazzo Rinaldi Artists residency

 

Can you believe it’s officially summer already?  This can only mean one thing…the countdown to the 2014 Residencies has started!  Preparations are in full swing…

We are excited to meet and welcome such a wide variety of artists and disciplines this season, as well as hosting Cora Murphy’s art workshops– it’s going to be a busy and fun summer.  Just to give you a taste of things to come, this year we are expecting composers, documentary makers, sculptors, photographers, writers, visual and new media artists- and even an architect! Artists come as always from around the world, including our very first AIR from Argentina!

All the news will be posted up here, so keep an eye on this blog and our Facebook page and you’ll be able to read all about the goings on at Palazzo Rinaldi this summer.

 

Partners-in-Residence: a Valentine’s interview

  Liz D'Agostino & Abel Elias  romantic travel

It’s Valentine’s day!  With Palazzo Rinaldi a pretty romantic destination in its own right, we thought it may be interesting to talk creative & personal experiences with one of our former Artists-in-Residence,  Elizabeth D’Agostino (AIR 2010) a visual artist based in Toronto, Canada, who attended alongside her partner.

  • Elizabeth, your surname is clearly of Italian origin.  Can you tell us a little bit about where your family is from originally?  

My family is from the Lazio region and come from a small town at the foot of the mountains where the Abbey of Montecassino is located. My parents grew up down the street from each other! Although my father immigrated to Canada first in 1956 and my mother shortly after I still have several aunts, uncles and cousins who still live in this area.

terrace Palazzo Rinaldi

    Liz at work on the terrace at Palazzo Rinaldi

  • In what ways you feel your ‘Italian-ness’ influences your creative work?

I have always been fortunate to have come from a family who supported my creativity.  My mother was a dress maker and I always used to spend hours watching her carefully craft things together and make patterns from her visual memory. My father loved to build things so he was pretty resourceful. I think this is where my visual training and ability to problem solve began: both of these characteristics are so important as a visual artist.  My parents were also big gardeners and they grew all kinds of vegetables and flowers.  They brought so much knowledge from Italy, and managed to grow various varieties of vegetables and flowers.  Artistically I am interested in the human interaction and adaptation of an organism to environmental and physical change.  The research of entomology and botany and elements such as birds, insects, and broken fragments of organic elements remind me of familial sites and surroundings both past and present. It embodies a sense of individual desire to recapture and restore memories and fragments of historical passages, which influence my daily life.

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      Works in progress by Liz from her stay

  • What made you want to attend an artists’ residency in Italy, and why Palazzo Rinaldi in particular?

I was beginning to work in video and digital photography and I had been planning a trip to Italy for several years because I really wanted the opportunity to document where my family was from. I felt like things were starting to change, and the rural quality of the area starting to disappear: those traditions that I found myself longing for were no longer present. I felt like I was ready to start working on a project titled ‘Longing/Belonging’.  I wanted to tie this project into a Residency, so I started searching and came across Palazzo Rinaldi. The more I looked into it the more I realized that this would be a great balance for planning this trip to my family’s home and also working on editing the video. 

  • Do you feel the village of Noepoli, residency and local area influenced your work, and in what way? 

I loved the landscape and really enjoyed documenting various parts of the Pollino National Park. I’m so used to experiencing large national parks in North America so knowing that Noepoli was set within the Park really intrigued me.  I was excited to go exploring for new things to draw and document. The area where my family is from is quite rural also, but as we travelled south we noticed that all of the villages were perched on top each mountain surrounded by walls and windy roads.

Noepoli

                    The village of Noepoli

  • You attended in Residency alongside your husband, Abel (and have since gone on to have a gorgeous baby boy!)  How was your experience of being in residency together?

Abel and I enjoy the experience of travelling to new places, experiencing the culture and meeting new people  so we were excited to spend this time together in the Basilicata region.  Although Abel is not an artist he is very involved in my practice and helps me out on so many levels.  I wanted him come along because I was excited to work on this particular project together but also to share this experience at Palazzo Rinaldi: I knew that for him it would be of interest because of the rich history of the area. Rarely do we get to collaborate on my projects so it was great to have the time to go over the hours of video footage and discuss it both aesthetically and technically.

We rented a car and drove from Naples to Noepoli.  Once we drove out of the city limits of Naples and through the mountains it was really a lovely drive with no traffic and beautiful vistas in every direction. We were quite fond of the rest stops along the highway where we could grab a quick slice of delicious pizza and espresso or two before heading on the road again.

Liz in Noepoli  40185_10150265675525601_4388125_n

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                                                         Liz and Abel exploring Basilicata together

  • Tell us the most memorable memory of your stay?

My favourite part of my stay at Palazzo Rinaldi was definitely the view from the balcony from the bedroom, waking up every morning to that magnificent view overlooking the rolling hills and mountains beyond the village of Noepoli. The nights were pretty spectacular too, after the sun sets and it gets dark: the lights from the various villages perched on each mountain in the distance…Believe or not I actually witnessed two falling stars during my stay: one from the balcony and the other one while walking home up the hill from the restaurant!

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      The view from the Palazzo Rinaldi terrace 

After breakfast each day I would spend morning until about 1pm drawing while on the balcony. It would remain cool and shady until about noon, so working in the natural light was ideal. Sitting on the balcony in the morning under the umbrella was my solitude: no noise, just the warm wind and sun as I worked in my sketchbook collecting my ideas for the work I was producing.

Italy 2010 023

               Liz at work at Palazzo Rinaldi

I found the mornings very busy in the village. Everyone running their errands, people happily chatting, cars and mopeds zipping by and the produce trucks would make their stop to the circle by the parking lot:  ‘the peppers have arrived!’ I loved seeing the various shades of peppers which were harvested from the region, all lined up and gathered in the baskets.

In the afternoon I would head down to one of the cellar studios and continue working (and cool off) on another set of drawings.  The studio was on the lower level of the building and I would often prop open the window which faced street level.  After 1 pm the village was quiet and everyone disappeared.  Everyday at about 4 pm the village would be begin to awaken again and I would start to hear the people talking, doors opening and the fresh smell of homemade tomato sauce…yes, seriously! It was like the smell of my mother’s kitchen as she prepared the large pot of tomato sauce which simmered on the stove for hours until dinner time.

Alex_bedroom_rsz  studio work

                                      Bedroom at Palazzo Rinaldi and Liz at work in one of the studios

  • What would you advise artists interested in undertaking a residency alongside a partner or family, who may be anxious to get a lot of work done too?  Any tips on organising your time or working space?

I wasn’t worried that I wouldn’t find the time to get any work done during this Residency. It definitely is a balance between focusing on the work and travelling together enjoying the various villages, meeting the locals and other residents is so much part of the process of attending a residency. Experiencing the region and the landscape informs the work and is part of the process so it’s important that one finds time to do this.  One of the other residents was from Iceland so she joined Abel and I on a couple of excursions and we had a lovely time learning exchanging and learning about Iceland and Canada. We would try and take two days off during the week to see things, and focus on working the other days.  Near the end, when we felt that we had really accomplished a lot, we took a well deserved and relaxing trip to the beaches and town of Maratea.

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                 Liz and Abel exploring the cave dwellings in Matera and the seaside at Maratea

  • Has motherhood changed your own working patterns much?  

Being a mother has changed my working patterns quite a bit.  When my son was first born I took about 3 months off, then returned to my studio practice.  After a year I returned to work, where I now manage an art school.  Working full time, trying to have an art practice and being a mother certainly keeps my life full. I do try to get into the studio once a week or in the evenings after my son goes to bed.

My son is almost 3 years old and we love going to the Natural History Museums, we especially like the biodiversity exhibitions and dinosaurs.  I love loping at and documenting the insects and animals and he loves all of the interactive displays.  He’s also quite fond of the dinosaurs and fossils.

  • What project are you working on at the moment? 

I’m working on a new series of prints and print-based objects based on invented categories belonging to the natural world gathered from the research and history of scientific illustrations and historical animal drawings.

  •  Any plans to visit Italy again soon?

We were planning on taking a trip this summer, but we since had a change of plans as I have been selected as an Artist-in-Residence at Anchor Graphics, Columbia College in Chicago.  I will be spending 3 weeks in May working on a new print-based project and interacting with the students at the college. Looks like Italy will have to wait for the fall or next summer for visiting- and I would like to try and bring the family too!

Elizabeth D’Agostino received her BFA from the University of Windsor and her MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL. She has exhibited in Canada and internationally including Iziko: Museum of Cape Town, South Africa, Manhattan Graphics Center, New York, and The Print Center, Philidelphia.  Elizabeth lives and works in Toronto and is a member of Open Studio in Toronto where she does most of her printing. Currently, Elizabeth teaches printmaking at the Ontario College of Art and Design and is the Curriculum Coordinator at the Toronto School of Art.  Upcoming exhibition:

Some assembly required back some assembly required

http://www.elizabethdagostino.com

Interview: I lived and worked in Artists’ Residencies around the world for 2 years

Part of the pleasure of running Palazzo Rinaldi artists’ residency is the opportunity to encounter some extraordinary people along the way, completely committed to their practice and art as a way of life.  One of these has to be Colorado-based visual artist Amy Clay, who back in 2009 made Palazzo Rinaldi her Italian stop on a planned 2-year creative and personal journey living and working in Artists’ Residencies around the world.  Along the way she collected thoughts, impressions and images and eventually published them in a book, now available online. 

We are catching up with Amy to ask her a few questions about her extraordinary experience and how this impacted her creative process.

 

     Amy at Palazzo Rinaldi in 2009

 

  •  Hi Amy!  Can you tell our blog readers a little bit about what inspired you to undertake your voyage in Residencies around the world in the first place?
I have always been a gypsy – insatiably curious about the world in all its diverse and interesting variety. Nothing is more thrilling to me than launching off into the unknown on some kind of adventure.  As an artist, I had been drooling over the extensive network of artist residencies for years, making a mental list of places that inspired me the most. So, when after many years of being grounded with my domestic commitments, I was free to wander again, I knew I wanted to combine my twin loves of travel and art. Artist residencies were the ticket.
  • With so much choice out there, how did you choose what Residencies to attend?

It was a combination of countries I was interested in visiting, and the residencies themselves. Each residency is unique, and they offer such different things, so I spent hours researching the accommodations/studios/costs etc before applying to them. My two favorite resources are: www.resartist.org, and www.transartists.org. Be warned, it is a rabbit hole!

  • We were of course delighted to be included in your wish list.  What are your memories of your stay at Palazzo Rinaldi?

What I loved about Palazzo Rinaldi, which was very different from the other places I’ve stayed, was being invited into such a warm and welcoming family home. I was the only artist at the time, so I was blessed with some quality time with the Caprara family as well as the quiet of the home and studio.

The village of Noepoli is truly an experience of life, Italy, unchanged by time. Because it is not a tourist destination, you really feel deeply the culture you are living in, as opposed to a Disney-fied version of it. And then there’s the location of the residency itself – at the top of an ancient hilltop hamlet with 360 degree views of the surrounding Basilicata region. Stunning!
I also was given a chance to have a small exhibition and slide show for the locals, who despite the language barrier, filled the room and seemed to enjoy my take on their wonderful village.

AMY_GNOCCHI2                AMY_SHOW               PREP1
                      
           Above from L Amy at Palazzo Rinaldi: learning to make gnocchi, and getting ready for the end-of-Residency exhibition
  • From a creative point of view, how did you feel your practice developed during your 2-year time away? 

I loved being on the road so much, that it actually became more of a 4 year journey!  I was very curious how much our culture, language, environment impacts the creative process, and by stepping outside of that familiar world, into the unknown, what changes would happen to me and my work. In a nutshell, what I discovered was the solid core of my authentic voice. That there is always an unchanging “signature”, the essential you. And then there is the exterior world which is open to change and interpretation and play. I thoroughly enjoyed that visual feast of the senses as I traveled the world, and just observed how it interacted with new materials and new forms to make the resulting work. Of course, the interaction with my fellow artist travelers had a profound impact too.   

  • You visited India, Mexico, New Zealand and Iceland among other exotic locations.  What were the challenges involved in traveling so far away from home for such a long period of time? 

People often would say how “brave” I was to take off as I did, from the comforts of my home. But I don’t feel particularly brave, it’s very much my nature to want to explore. I’m less attached to my “things” than to the excitement of a new adventure. Although it’s wonderful to have a base, from which to launch,  financially, I couldn’t have both. So I chose freedom!

  • What would you say was the best thing about undertaking this long term project?

It’s so hard to qualify that, but I suppose it’s the confidence in myself – knowing that wherever I land I will find beauty, amazing people and creative purpose. And that this world is a magnificent place, not scary or broken. The infinite manifestations of form on this planet are truly astounding, and I don’t want to miss any of it. So as we speak, I’m asking myself – what’s next!

  • And finally…what advice would you give to fellow artists planning to attend a residency abroad for the first time?

Do your research, choose as best you can (try to find some reviews if possible), and then the minute you are on your way, relax and surrender to whatever shows up. Most likely it will be a rich and rewarding and sometimes crazy ride!

Amy Guion Clay is a visual artist and traveler who exhibits her work internationally. She continues to enjoy the life of the artist in residence around the world.  Her book The Far Shores of Being is now available online.

2014 Painting Workshops at Palazzo Rinaldi

Happy new year!  Time to welcome in 2014.

If you haven’t thought of a resolution yet, how about this one: finding your inner artist in the heart of Italy’s sunny south, under the guidance of a professional tutor?  Thought you might like it.

We are delighted to launch not one but two painting courses, developed specifically by professional visual artist and art teacher Cora Murphy, herself a former Palazzo Rinaldi AIR.  Cora says about her courses:

Palazzo Rinaldi is a unique and very special location.  My time there has been enormously inspirational to my painting practice.  In many ways, it has sustained and underpinned my painting since.  I genuinely expect all workshop participants to feel likewise!

Cora Murphy painter

Cora at Palazzo Rinaldi in 2010

Cora’s artistic skills and wonderful, outgoing personality coupled with her experience of Palazzo Rinaldi – and the small matter of having created some outstanding work while in Residency – made her the perfect choice of tutor.  Since first discussing this idea, she has gone on to  developing the two wonderful week-long painting workshops we are delighted to launch today, which make the most of our unique geographical location at the heart of Italy’s largest national park.

Italy painting workshop Palazzo Rinaldi

The courses – Abstracting the Landscape and Adventures in Abstract Art – will both run during the month of August 2014 and will take place at Palazzo Rinaldi Artists’ Residency. Featuring daily professional tuition and one-to-one critiques as well as sightseeing trips and social time, they promise to be the perfect way to improve your technical skills while having fun and exploring a foreign country.  And not forgetting having an exhibition in Italy to your name – as all participants’ works will be showcased in end-of-course exhibitions.

Noepoli PZ

Above: the village of Noepoli, idyllic setting of the painting workshops.  Below: the UNESCO heritage site of Matera, destination of the workshops’ art trips.

Matera UNESCO Palazzo Rinaldi

Workshop dates:

11th-18th August: Abstracting the Landscape

19th to 26th August: Adventures in Abstract Art

Download the full workshops’ brochure here

Both workshops are booking now but regrettably places are limited and filling fast.  To book please contact tutor Cora Murphy directly at cora[at]coramurphy.com

About Cora Murphy:

Cora Murphy

Originally from County Carlow, Cora travelled extensively for 15 years before returning to live in Ireland in 2007, when she abandoned conceptual art to focus on painting full time. Although abstract in form, Cora’s work is most usually described as landscape – as the work capture the essence and emotional significance she attaches to a place or time. While her influences are broad, the work is largely concerned with the natural world and our place in it. Cora takes her inspiration on the land – literally – walking the land, interacting with the community and generally immersing herself in the scene – a process she describes as ‘dropping down’ into the landscape – before documenting her response to the surroundings.

Since moving back to Ireland, Cora has made bodies of work in response to the Irish landscape – in the Kerry Gaeltacht (‘Ballads to the Bog‘), the Mayo Lakes (May 2011) and throughout the country – most recently in ‘Land of Plenty‘ (Origin, March 2011) – a celebration of the abundance of our land in spite of recesssion. Cora has also created bodies of work overseas – in Southern Italy (Sept. 2010) and Mexico (Oct – Nov. 2009).

Cora’s ‘Mexican Odyssey‘ – a body of work made while camping in the Baja Desert toured Ireland last year – initially premiering at The Mexican Embassy of Ireland (September 2011) with an opening by Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD – Minister for Arts, Heritage & The Gaeltacht – before touring to Origin Gallery in Dublin (October 2011) and University College Cork (November 2011).

The scale of Cora’s work tends to range from very small works on paper to large loquacious pieces created en plein air. Her methodology, while not entirely rigid, will usually involve creating the bones of larger piece on the flat outdoors with inks and heavy body acrylics before stretchering the piece back at the studio and introducing extensive layers of voluminous oils.

Colour and cogency are key concerns in Cora’s work – which tend towards the volumous in composition. Joash Woodrow, Turner, Kurt Jackson, Hughie O’Donoghue & Barrie Cooke are amongst Cora’s influences. Poets and their work are also a key influence.

http://www.coramurphy.com

Discovering the places of ‘Christ Stopped at Eboli’

Carlo Levi, Basilicata

The Basilicata region of Italy, with its secluded sunny locations shrouded in mystery and folk tradition, has provided through the years inspiration and ideas to countless writers, poets, visual artists and film makers.  One of the most famous and best loved of such writers is Carlo Levi, author of the Italian literature classic Christ Stopped at Eboli (Cristo si è fermato a Eboli).

Levi was a politically engaged doctor, writer and talented painter originally from Turin in northern Italy. In 1935, Levi’s anti-fascist beliefs and political activism led to him being exiled by Mussolini’s fascist government to Basilicata, at the time considered the remotest area in southern Italy.  What the government didn’t expect however, was that this ‘punishment’ would in fact become a positively life changing experience for Levi, who was welcomed with open arms by the people of the area.

Aliano Basilicata

The village of Aliano

Levi Aliano Palazzo Rinaldi

Levi’s exile home (now museum) in Aliano

Palazzo Rinaldi, Carlo Levi

Residents Catherine Finn and Laura MacNaughton (Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs 2010) at the Levi museum in Aliano

Published in 1945 in memoir form, the book provides an intimate and affecting account of Levi’s time spent in the remote small villages of Grassano and Aliano (Levi changed the name of Aliano to ‘Gagliano’ in the book)- the latter can be seen in the distance from the Palazzo Rinaldi terrace.  Our village Noepoli is also mentioned in the book, as is the nearby city of Matera.

The title of the book is an expression describing the local rural area as ‘ bypassed by Christianity, by morality, by history itself—(…) somehow excluded from the full human experience’ as Levi later explained.  Eboli was the location in nearby Campania region where the road and railway  branched away from the main north-south routes and headed further south into no-man’s-land.

The unique ‘calanchi’ rock formations in Aliano

AIR Italy Basilicata

Photographers Vaydehi Khandelwal and Mina Momeni (Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs 2009) visiting the main square in Aliano

The book is a great work of literature as well as a unique historical document, as it represents a snapshot of a region going through a particularly difficult time: isolated by the political classes, economically poor and riddled with malaria.  While thankfully Basilicata is in a very different place today, at the same time many reflections Levi shares on aspects of the local culture are still very much alive today, such as its folk traditions, mysticism, dialect, superstitions and so on.  Levi’s writing style effortlessly combines serious reflections with light hearted, personal and often funny anecdotes, making it an absorbing read.

Many visitors to the region, including our Resident artists, find the this book an invaluable introduction to this mysterious and still undiscovered region, and can easily relate to Levi’s point of view of ‘outsider looking in’.

Folk traditions are still alive in Aliano just as they were in Levi's day

Marching band in Aliano.  Folk traditions are still alive in Basilicata, as they would have been in Levi’s day.

If you needed further encouragement to pick up a copy of the book (in case you forget to pack it – we have a few at the Palazzo!) is that once here at Palazzo Rinaldi you will be able to visit Aliano and all the places where Levi lived and worked on his book, as well as his final resting place.  Levi loved the village so much that, years after he had returned to live in the north, his last wish was to be buried back in Basilicata.  His tomb is visited by writers from around the world, who traditionally leave small pebbles on its as a testimony of their visit.

Levi Basilicata Palazzo Rinaldi

Carlo Levi’s final resting place in Aliano

In addition to retracing the steps of Carlo Levi and seeing through your own eyes the very street corners and locations he describes, you will also be able to view some of his painting, sketch works, photos and memorabilia, currently hosted in Aliano’s Carlo Levi Museum.  Levi used painting as another form of ‘memoir’, capturing the friends and local characters he got to know with while in exile, once again providing us with an invaluable testimony of a historical time.

Levi Basilicata

Paintings by Carlo Levi Levi Italy

More info:
Carlo Levi on Penguin Classics website
Museo Storico Carlo Levi