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.

 

Advertisements

Celebrating Spring

Straight from the terrace at Palazzo Rinaldi, we thought we’d share this wonderful arcobaleno (rainbow) who decided to visit us over the weekend…wishing all our former and future AIRs a wonderful & inspiring Spring 2014!

rainbow Palazzo Rinaldi Italy

terrace Palazzo Rinaldi

rainbow Palazzo Rinaldi

 

“Marzo pazzerello: esce il sole, piglia l’ombrello!” – Italian proverb

Crazy March…sun is out, pick up the umbrella!

Video: Alla Casa Della Comare

Back in 2009, we had the pleasure to host video maker Francesco Cincotta (UK) and his partner Ariane Braillard (CH) in Residency at Palazzo Rinaldi.  During this stay, Francesco developed a collaboration with neighbour and local writer Raffaele Carlomagno focused on the family history of the Palazzo, which led to the filming of one of Raffaele’s original poems, Alla Casa della Comare (At the Comare‘s House).

A Comare (or Cumpare for males) is a southern Italian term to describe female family acquaintances and neighbours and has shades of both respect and affection.  In this case, the Comare of the title is Donna Candida Calabrese, our great-aunt, who lived at Palazzo Rinaldi and was well known for her work in the local parish, her love of books, her warmth and welcome.

The poem describes some of Raffaele’s childhood memories of Palazzo Rinaldi, spent with Candida Calabrese reading and chatting on the terrace.  The poem is entirely in a very musical rhyming Nojese (Noepoli dialect) and is shot entirely at Palazzo Rinaldi and its surrounds.

Like Raffaele, I also remember how the door would always be open, somebody always knocking or peering in looking for a chat with Zia Candida at the kitchen table.  We hope that her welcoming spirit is still honoured today at Palazzo Rinaldi, where that same door is now open to residents from around the world.

Video & editing: Francesco Cincotta
Poetry & voiceover: Raffaele Carlomagno

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.

Liz_studio2_mini

      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

45841_10150265694480601_1470670_n  44456_10150264172990601_8107095_n

                                                         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!

IMG_5077

      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.

IMG_5149 40185_10150265675560601_4472286_n

                 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.

Of kindness and clay

One of the joys of writing this blog is to commit to ‘virtual’ paper some of the most unforgettable Residents and their works, some of which have  become part of the tradition of the Residency- and (as in this case) of the fabric of the Palazzo itself.

When US sculptor Teresa Lind first joined us in Residency back in 2008, it was originally to continue her research on the figure as subject, and how costume and clothes inform identity.  She set out to work on female figures inspired by traditional Italian apparel, which she brought to life from slabs of malleable red wax, which she saw as an ideal material to transport and to work while in Residency:  “Wax is quiet, easily obtained and contained (…), the ideal material so that the pieces can later be cast in bronze and iron and finished with a variety of surface patinas to reflect the colors and vibrance of the garments.”

resident artist Palazzo Rinaldi     artist residency sculpture

Above: Teresa at work on her wax figures, below: images of the finished works, cast back in the US

artworks Palazzo Rinaldi    artwork

But Teresa was to distinguish herself and leave her mark at Palazzo Rinaldi for far more than just her creativity, hardworking attitude and warm personality.

Moved by the history of the Palazzo Rinaldi terrace busts, two of which had been damaged by burglars in the 1990s, Teresa decided to dedicate the rest of her stay to sculpt a brand new statue.  With only three days or less until the end of the stay, there was no convincing her otherwise as she set off to collect clay from the hill at the foot of the village, and started work on the terrace under the August sun.

Palazzo Rinaldi Italy residency   Palazzo Rinaldi terrace

                                                           Teresa at work, and below the cast of her interpretation of the missing statue.

                                                                                 terrace artists Palazzo Rinaldi

Unfortunately it was soon time to say goodbye as Teresa’s residency drew to a close, but we were delighted to hear that she was planning to come back the following year, to bring along her musician husband and complete her work.

Fast forward to the following August, and it was wonderful to have Teresa back and meet her lovely husband Kristopher.

TERESA_KRIS

This being Teresa however, this was never going to be just a romantic getaway.  Having decided that she was unhappy with the bust she had cast the previous season, she immediately set out to create a brand new one, this time based on the original design depicting the greek poet Sappho.

statue Palazzo Rinaldi    clay Italy Palazzo Rinaldi

Teresa Lind

The timing was perfect as Teresa managed to finish her bust just as her Residency wrapped up.  Located as we are in a very remote area, unfortunately we had no kiln available for firing the work, but we promised Teresa that during the autumn we would do our best to find a place that would see her project to completion.

And so we did- in Summer 2010, the once empty pedestal was finally reunited with its original occupier – the only female in the series.

art Palazzo Rinaldi   sculptors Italy

As the seasons change and the weather adds its finishing touches to the surface, the statue blends in more and more with the existing original works. But for us at Palazzo Rinaldi this one will always stand out: as a reminder of Teresa, keeping us company through the seasons, and for Residents as an inspiring object to admire and interact with.

The images below shows our Sappho modelling jewellery created in Residency by S&M Jewelry (aka Milda Bublys and Sarah Schrift) in 2011.

Palazzo Rinaldi exhibition   Palazzo Rinaldi mostre

Teresa’s was an unforgettable gesture.  Her statue, bearing her striking likeness, stands on the terrace forever admiring the view and greeting every new resident with its story of kindness and true artistic sensibility.


Teresa Lind (Palazzo Rinaldi AIR 2008 and 2009) is a sculptor and founder from Wisconsin working in bronze, iron, and aluminum metals.  Her work is a pursuit of the figure, its presentation as subject and object and the contemporary issues that accompany it.  She regularly attends conferences on cast metals and recently constructed her own iron melting cupola. Teresa received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh in 2000 and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2005.  She was also educated as a sculptor in Italy at the Florence Academy of Art in 2002.  Currently, Teresa teaches sculpture at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.