Abilementa,Vicenza Italia

Abilementa,Vicenza Italia

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Buon Natale in Venice

 Christmas in Italy is not only about food but about music -Monteverdi, the Renaissance composer chose San Marco for the recital of his vespers with its acoustics designed that the sounds are really celestial....

 In contrast,the harsh reality of hard economic times in our era are expressed by the Italian version of Occupy Wallstreet staged by the transport Unions, spilling over the steps of the Venice railway station and dramatically voicing a disturbing erosion of union regulations and job security..

Natale a Venezia

Music for Christmas in Italy...this one 
Caruso-Author unknown, about memory and loss in inimitable Italian style by two greats..

Here, where the sea shines
and the wind howls,
on the old terrace beside the gulf of Sorrento,
a man embraces a girl
he wept after,
then clears his throat and continues the song:

I love you very much,
very, very much, you know;
it is a chain by now
that melts the blood inside the veins, you know...

He saw the lights out on the sea,
thought of the nights there in America, 
but they were only the fishermen's lamps
and the white wash astern.
He felt the pain in the music
and stood up from the piano,
but when he saw the moon emerging from a cloud
death also seemed sweeter to him. 
He looked the girl in the eyes,
those eyes as green as the sea.
Then suddenly a tear fell
and he believed he was drowning.

I love you very much,
very, very much, you know,
it is a chain by now
that melts the blood inside the vein you know...

The power of opera,
where every drama is a hoax;
with a little make-up and with mime
you can become someone else.
But two eyes that look at you,
so close and real,
make you forget the words,
confuse your thoughts,
So everything became small,
also the nights there in America. 
You turn and see your life
through the white wash astern.

But, yes, it is life that ends
and he did not think about it  so much
on the contrary, he already felt happy 
and continued his song:

I love you very much,
very, very much, you know,
it is a chain by now
that melts the blood inside the veins, you know...

Buon Natale from Venezia

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rialto Clock keeps Venetian time while Shylocks ghost...

  This church- San Giacomo ,the oldest in Venice at the Rialto surrounded by  famous fish market  for many centuries is buzzing with the crowds of visitors and Christmas shoppers.In the shadow of this mysterious  time-keeper lies a glorious mask shop, whose work is my favourite in Venice, called  La Bottega dei Mascareri (www.mascarer.com) see below

The recent version of  The Merchant of Venice with Al Pacino splendid, as Shylock-the reviled money lender who, in an attempt to extract his revenge on the contemptuous Christian nobles of Venice, has his scheming come horribly undone by a young lawyer from Padova, who turns out to be  a woman. This convoluted story by the bard had a cruel fate in mind for the merchant.The ethereal foggy  waterscapes around the Rialto provide a  perfect scenographic atmosphere with its  floating world of intrigue ...Venice is most beautiful in the fog as the Nobel prize winner Russian poet Brodsky in Watermark wrote .. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness....

Autumn has been a glorious experience - unseasonally warm sunny days with roast chestnuts freshly roasted in the piazzas and pumpkin risotto for starters ,then fruit-filled pinza and torta di castagna .The fruits of the season-persimmons and pomegranates mingle in markets with porcini mushrooms and  pumpkins,even the flowers are fried and eaten as delicacies.To view these textural tapestries in a daily open-air market is a delight ..

Meanwhile another visual feast-the last days of the Venice Art Biennale. Above a textile installation by Egyptian-Lebanese-born Lara Baladi at right , always something inspirational with more work that ever having textiles as a focal point. Renata Pompas ,a fellow member of Textere which is the education arm of the European Textile  Network-ETN writes about this trend..

Sunday, November 6, 2011

High Water in Venice (Acqua Alta)..and Genova

The Venetians are used to the seasonal invasions of water invading shops and homes with a system of sirens to warn of the impending flood,pumps and platforms to traverse. Another essential items are  thigh-high wellington boots and a strong stride across knee deep torrents.In the shops and houses water doesnt ususally enter through the  doors but seeps up out of the floor so it is impossible to stop it like an insiduous burglar.Remember  Venice is actually floating - what seems solid ground is really an illusion so the inhabitants weary after rising at 4 oclock to the alarm warning must wait until the tide drops for mopup operations .  Customers in expensive restauaraunts are carried to the platforms in a type of wheelbarrow so their shoes didnt touch the ground.The courtesans of days gone by wore very high platform clogs(Zoccoli) made of wood to address this problem which is actually becoming more acute these days due to acidity erosion of foundations.
The high  tides combined with tropical rain which is bucketting down as we speak will push up the level of the tide to more than a metre today.
             Unfortunately the glorious city of Genova has not escaped  Natures powerful fury  with a catastrophe there in the last few days that has provoked rage and grief in all of Italy.
       Climate change is impinging on the grand glory of the Italian cultural heritage and its people...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shibori-The illustrious Textile Art

  Patricia, specialises in the textile art of Shibori - the Japanese name for ancient resist dyeing and manipulating fabric .The video demonstating the techniques of Shibori ,with the exquisite intricacy of Japanese craftsmanship continuing today in Arimatsu ,have been adapted by Patricia into contemporary wearables.She is a member of the World Shibori network WSN (www.shibori.org) whose aim is to preserve and promote this endangered textile heritage .
The upcoming WSN conference held at the Hong Kong Polytechnic in December is detailed on the Shibori website.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Velvets of Venice

  Patrica Black  first presented her work in Venice in a specially choreographed performance entitled  Sottile come una Ragnatella/Finer than a  Spiders Web at  Palazzo Moncenigo.She also worked with Casa Gialla Art Association to teach her specialised form of  handdyed 3D textile pieces using the finest Italian Silks in Giudecca in 1996.
 Her current  limited edition silk velvet wearables- evoke the work of Venetian designer Fortuny and are available at Zazu shop in Calle Saoneri in Frari Quartieri.
Besides teaching her work which she loves as she gets to meet realy interesting people such as her students pictured below at Textile Haslach.
  Patricia is passionate about a supporting   handfashioned craftsmanship with a contemporary edge-in her own words

      "In Venice in  the labyrinth of streets called calle one discovers tiny treasures of shops that save me from the edge of despair. Elsewhere, the art of theatrical dressing, the engaging pleasure of handfashioning textiles and hand fashioned design are being swept away .These micro cultures, that give a context for the celebration of the sartorial spendour of textiles, belong to a now distant and rarified world . I and other" textilophiles " are trying to stem in this tide by promoting ,educating and keeping on creating in the hope that this a cyclical trend..."