For the past years I’ve been to Tuscany many times, mostly by my own car.
This allowed me to be totally free in terms of driving around the area.
Of course I could have rent a car but I still needed one to drive back home with all the goods I had found during each trip.
My research for clay, minerals, lava, or stone is mostly based on spontaneous act. What does it is mean? Well, it’s simple as that,
I just get into my car and I head one or the other direction. Usually I don’t prepare myself in any special way, I don’t use GPS, or stuff like that, the only thing I do is a quick look on the paper map, before I leave the house, to get a general view of the land, to point a place where I could go to, that’s all. Don’t ask me how does it work, but I’m never lost, moreover, even if I try to lose my sens of direction, I would get it back in a second, or two. There is a sun above me as a waypoint, together with my logical mind it doesn’t allow me to get lost that easy… What leads me, is a desire to find a colour, new matter which I would like to have. In such way I’ve found very rare colours like green, white or some red tones. The only thing I need to do is to see with my inner sight a colour I want and start the engine to drive through some new areas.
No technological disruption, just me moving around with a car. I’ve had beautiful moments when something forced me to pull over to walk a few steps into a forest, or bushes to find some wonderful colours hidden there. What a surprise!
But, this is only an intuitive process and
I need to switch off my thoughts and my inner voice to get the feeling, the impulse which comes once and can’t be discussed on and on with my mind. Either I turn right because I’m stroke with a thought to do so, or I simply miss the place and the colour.
I’m always looking for new spots, I’m always interested in sideroads, I always look around to reach something unique which is there to be discovered and reworked further on.
Nevertheless, during all these trips to Italy, I’ve met very kind people who have given me tips where they think it’s worth to go. These were greatly varied people, speaking English, or not at all. Still, we’ve managed to communicate with one another despite my poor Italian.
Selflessness of Italians is remarkable. If they could, they would help you, at all times. They always find a minute to talk, to think and to share their attention with you. I have very good experience with regular people in Tuscany, Campania, or Sicily where I went to collect some materials.
One of the very first unique minerals I found, was because of signor Carlo, an elder and silent gardener of the house I stayed in. It wasn’t an easy conversation because
I hardly understood him though step by step we did it somehow. Each time I’m in the area he showed me on the map, I paint another painting with those minerals, and each time, by looking on one of these paintings I have to think of him.
Another time, I had a chance to meet signor Luciano, an elder electrician who was setting up a lamp for a painting of mine in Florence. I asked him, if he knew where I could find
a blue mineral, stone, etc. in Tuscany, because maybe there is a place like that
(you never know)…
He fell into a pensive mood and I became excited about what could come from his mouth. Suddenly, he smiled and said:
"The blue in Tuscany? The sky is blue!"
I can admit Mr. Luciano was right. No matter what one thinks about the colour of the sky in general, it is fucking blue there.
Landscape of Crete Volterra, October 2014, Tuscany
Back in 2011 I went to Tuscany to do my light research.
It was the beginning of September and one day in the afternoon I drove to Volterra.
Sun was already lower but at some point its light started to illume the fields around the town in a special way.
During late summer in Italy, in the afternoons one can experience a beautiful view for about half an hour. Suddenly all the land becomes golden.
I wanted to catch this moment and take that light with me.
I decided to collect some clay from these fields and to see if I can manage to turn it into a pigment and further into a paint and finally into a painting.
For the next few days I was driving around Tuscany finding some more clay of different colours like yellow, brown or grey.
I discovered that they are diverse in tones and simply perfect as colours.
Going back home, I already had a few small paintings with me, painted and dried outside in the Tuscan sun.
Soon after my return I presented these paintings to the public. Each one had an individual light projection which reminded of fields around Volterra gleamed with a sunlight.
I called these paintings the Lightscapes.