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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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

10 Things To Do During Your Artists’ Residency

During your stay at Palazzo Rinaldi you will have as much or as little to do as you wish: working on your artistic projects, exploring the local area, meeting and socializing with your fellow artists-in-residence…or just plain old relaxing and catching up on uninterrupted sleep!  However you decide to spend your time, here are 10 things we recommend you try and fit in during your stay, that will make your Residency even more memorable and special.

Pasolini

Matera sunset

1. Lights, Camera, Action || Visit the UNESCO world heritage site of Matera.  With daily bus connections to and from Noepoli, there is no excuse not to visit one of Italy’s most unique locations.  One of the peninsula’s first human settlements, its vast historical centre is carved almost entirely out of white rock, giving it an otherworldy appearance.  Matera today is a regular location for film makers– Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew were filmed here, among many others. Guided tours are widely available.

Farneta forest Pollino   Pollino hiking

2. Take a hike! || With Palazzo Rinaldi’s enviable location in the heart of Italy’s largest national park, you should definitely make the most of the wide-open spaces and stunning scenery on our doorstep. Many walking and hiking trails are available for you to discover and explore, offering unspoilt vistas and uninterrupted silence and the opportunity to work off those extra, delicious pizza pounds!  If you are a runner bring your shoes, as you will also find many pathways to and from the Residency to challenge you and keep you in shape during your stay.

Telescope terrace Palazzo Rinaldi  Palazzo Rinaldi sunset

3. Watch the stars… || Meeting for a glass of wine on the panoramic terrace at sunset is a regular habit for our Artists-in-residence. A socializing ritual accompanied by the ever-changing display of colors, which you can enjoy from your very own west-facing seat in the clouds.  Later, as the air cools down and the sky darkens to reveal its treasures without the glare of electric lights, star gazing will be an exceptional experience. Pina is a keen amateur astronomer and she will gladly talk you through the constellations on view during your stay, and even has a telescope for you to peek through.  In August it is extremely common to view falling stars, so have a couple of wishes at the ready!

antique books

4. Judge a book by its cover || Explore our library collection: Palazzo Rinaldi is home to a collection of antique Italian books and magazines viewable upon request.  Dating back from as far as the mid-nineteenth century and including specific publications on fashion and cinema as well as war and politics, they will no doubt inspire and intrigue you.

Painting Palazzo Rinaldi Italy       painting Palazzo Rinaldi

5. Work outdoors || Grab one of our portable easels and step outside of the studio, and let your creativity loose in the maze of cobbled streets. Noepoli, perched on top of a hill and winding itself around it in a spiral shape, is a village of extraordinary beauty as well as a protected location.  With Palazzo Rinaldi located right at the very top, don’t miss the opportunity to explore on foot its many tiny side streets and cobbled lanes, intersecting with each other before opening up to reveal secret piazze and surprising vistas on the valley below.  Bring your work with you and enjoy the weather, and the freedom of being able to work outdoors.

banda Noepoli  Noepoli procession

6. Bless me, Father… || Go to Sunday mass.  Whether you are religious or not, mass in the south of Italy is a fascinating and spiritually enriching experience.  You will witness the whole of the small village coming together and also enjoy the folklore, the people watching, the litany and the singing.  If your Residency happens to coincide with one of the summer’s many festas, such as Saint Anthony or the Madonna of Constantinople, you will also experience outdoor processions, marching bands, food stands, dancing – and even fireworks!

Simone Cumpa'  Vaydehi Noepoli

7. Meet the locals.  || Noepoli is home to a small and friendly community who – despite the language barrier – will go out of its way to make you feel at home.  The village is small and everyone knows each other, making it a safe destination particularly if travelling on your own. Even if your Italian begins and ends with ‘buongiorno’ and ‘buonasera’, a friendly attitude and a smile is really all you need to make long term friends!

spiaggia

Policoro beach

8. Go to the beach || Yes- despite the fact that we are in a hilltop location, the bustling beachside resort of Policoro is not far away.  So if you fancy a ‘holiday day’ to break from your creative work, pack your swimsuit and towel!

Palazzo Rinaldi art Amaro Lucano  Palazzo RInaldi

9. Sample the local food & wine. ||  The south of Italy is well known as the gourmet epicentre of the country, and Basilicata is no exception.  In Noepoli you will be able to taste some exceptional dishes and ingredients – among them the DOP Red Peppers of Senise, unique in the country – and the famous black grape Aglianico wines.  Upon request we can even arrange a visit to the local winery, inclusive of tasting session of course!

Chiesa   Jacuvill

10. See the sights || There are many sights to explore locally, but one you definitely shouldn’t miss is the church of the Madonna del Pantano on the outskirts of the village, impressively carved into the mountain side and featuring the hermit’s grotto- setting to a fascinating local legend.  If your passion is history and archaeology, a little further afield you will find the Greek temples at Metaponto, original site of Pythagoras’ philosophy school, or the Archaeological museum at Matera.

These are just some basic suggestions to get you started- the rest is all for you to discover!  At Palazzo Rinaldi you will find all the maps, bus timetables and information you need to plan your visits and we will be happy to answer any question you might have.  Enjoy!

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

Summer 2014 & new facilities

It’s that time of year again!!  We are delighted to announce that Palazzo Rinaldi is currently accepting applications for Summer 2014.  Between the end of June and early September, artists can choose to attend for a minimum of 5 nights, to a maximum of 2 weeks (Residencies) or one month (Retreats).  Artists also have the option to attend in a private apartment as part of the main Palazzo Rinaldi building, particularly useful if traveling with families or looking for a little more privacy.

Despite being committed to remaining a small, family-run location, Palazzo Rinaldi has organically grown and developed quite a bit since it first opened its doors back in 2008. With the help of the positive support and feedback from our Residents the three of us have worked as hard as possible to try and make it better every year.

In this blog post we wanted to quickly guide you through some new additions we were pleased to bring to the Residency last year, including a brand new self-catering kitchen for the exclusive use of our Residents.

self-catering

Despite being a remote, tiny little village Noepoli does have its own restaurant/ pizzeria, many bars, two bakeries and so on- all great places to socialise and get to meet local people.  However we felt it was very important for Residents to feel as independent as possible and truly ‘at home’ by cooking their own meals whenever they wished to, particularly when staying for a long period of time.  The feedback has been great over the last season and it was wonderful to see the kitchen become a new centre for aggregation and socialising among artists, cooking and sharing together.

self catering Rinaldi
Above: Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs Marijke Loosjes and Anne Lillis.  Below (L-R): Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs Jyoti Dugal, Mellisa Dempsey, Andy Nicholson, Dana Sederowsky, Marijke Loosjes, Simone Couto and Meghan Blosser.

eat Palazzo RinaldiAIRs kitchen Palazzo Rinaldi

This of course doesn’t mean that Pina’s wonderful home cooked breakfasts are going away– quite the opposite!  They are staying,by popular demand! :)

Palazzo Rinaldi breakfast

Palazzo Rinaldi food

Palazzo Rinaldi food
Above: Palazzo Rinaldi breakfast details, AIRs Tuula Voutilainen, Geranise Hurtis and Leonor Agan.

In addition to our existing two studios, this summer we were also pleased to open a third studio space filled with natural light and with direct access to our terrace.

Palazzo Rinaldi studio   studio Palazzo Rinaldi
AIR Palazzo Rinaldi  artists studio Palazzo Rinaldi
Palazzo Rinaldi AIRs Mellisa Dempsey (L) and Charlsie Kelly (R) at work in the studio

terrace Palazzo Rinaldi
view from the studio

We are so pleased we could bring these improvements to the Residency and look forward to unveiling more over the next few seasons.