Australia, Canada in Italy : Studio Italia

Painting workshops in Italy
The book cover!

SETTING UP MY EASEL! Studio Italia’s catalogue

As you all know, Studio Italia’s participants from two hemispheres will be showing in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa (see post February 5th).  Here is an excerpt from the catalogue that you may get at written by icscis/walkthearts’ director Prof. Yves M. Larocque

“Italy, like the canvas, is a meeting place, a sort of Champ de Mars battleground on which fears, joys, loves and happy and unhappy memories confront head-on. Going there, stepping out geographically, allows us to step back from our own story, from our own history; it give us permission to know another space, another time, with which we can compare. This ‘stepping back’ also affords a time-out from our daily duties and religious, familial and societal limitations so we can at last focus solely on the self and rightly make “effective contact” (“contact efficace” André Breton), let go, recognize the here and now, and live in the moment! This ‘stepping back’ slows the passing of time—a time that is both too fragile and too fleeting—so we can recognize differences, stop conforming, stop looking like others, and catch our identity. Italy will always be the perfect place for this convergence on self, for it was Italy that gave birth to the one-point perspective, whose vanishing point on the horizon at last enabled us to enter life through the great “open window” (Alberti’s fenestra aperta). Indeed, it was in Italy that was first used this now-well-known vanishing point, then required for properly composing a landscape painting, and also the self, hence the Renaissance”.

“Like the artists of the Italian Renaissance, the painters in this exhibition have a special relationship with painting in the sense that all through their lives they had said: “I will become a painter someday!” Mikel Dufrenne wrote that through the “pictorial Oedipus,” the painter is in tune with the world and invites us to join in. It is in “the act of painting” that a painter is fulfilled and learns to know, if not recognize, the self as a different being and thus deeply root a self-owned individuality. Unlike children given paper on which to paint, adults intellectualize too much. A 10-day stepping-back in Italy is seldom long enough for us to let go of the many decades separating us from our five-year-old selves and to stop dwelling on the “what to do.” Yet we still have an intense craving to paint, an intense yearning to make, this intense desire for justice, for bettering the world offered to us”.

Studio Italia


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