by Giorgia Marzi
I was born and spent most of my life in this city; and yet, what I feel for Rome is not a sense of belonging, but better, a deep sense of respect and a feeling of love.
I would never be able to see my life without the silent and consistent love relationship with this city.
When you live in a city like this you get used to being daily and constantly surrounded by beauty and history, as well as the restlessness of its rhythms and stillness.
I realize now, more and more, how much encounters and places create, over time, the outlines of our own identity.
This city is like one of its stray cats, “she” lets you pet “her”, indulging and then fleeting behind one of its plenty contradictions. Each stone holding the story of its past. As in front of one of the most sublime marvels of nature, it often happens that in Rome you feel moved and enraptured by the marvels of man’s art and engineering, so often rising high, against an amazing sky and light.
The domes, the bridges, the palaces, the pillars, the river, the angels, the Madonna, the fauns, the ancient Gods, the emperors, the power, the people, the greenery, the gardens, the fountains…the Baroque.
Rome moves me every day; every time I lean out from the Janiculum the view takes my breath away; or else, when I walk along the Tiber and the lining sycamore trees with their branches, vibrant with light, bow to the water of the river and again, every time Castel Sant’Angelo, in its full magnificence, and that wonderful dome appear in front of me.
I have spent years on the buses, trams and subways of this city drawing the faces of a humanity, coming from any angle of the world, which, just like me, would share “those commutes” and, at every stop; at every getting off, Rome would show, right in front of my eyes, countless moments of beauty; from the center to the suburbs, neighborhoods so rich in identity and goodness.
Today, that I find myself painting abstractions of color and lights surfacing from shadows; layering my canvases with a medium made of matter, overlays and erasures, in an attempt of freezing the idea of a time which inevitably changes things, erodes them, wipe them out; and yet, longs for eternity…
In this artistic journey I clearly know how much I owe to the observation of those golden lights seeping through the Roman churches; of those water reflections and the ruins of a city which is still bearer of the evidence of the work of man and time. One can be an unaware spectator of all the history that runs through this city; nonetheless, the amount of beauty, that this endless dialogue with the past nurtures, is immeasurable.
When I think of the immense heritage which Rome let me see, even just by walking, I feel incredibly lucky.
What Rome wants back is, however, seriousness and sacredness when choosing to follow an artistic path.
It means the awareness of being a little speck in the great journey of history. It is the humbleness of knowing how little we are but, at the same time, the courage of keeping on working with the highest intent.
MY LAND... ROMAGNA
by Alice Tamburini
Vast plains, mountains with woods and forests, long stretches of beach and the sea… A landscape beating with life and stunning. Travel just a few kilometers and the view is different.
It is a peasant land, of peasant origin, just like me. The love I feel for my land is great; its scent, the trees and fruits that take me back to my childhood.
It is a land of art as well, of amazing villages and wonderful castles. Winters here are harsh, foggy, and the summers almost tropical like; full of life: the people of Romagna, as we all know, keep themselves quite busy.
The land of Romagna is, for me, not just a place, but a way of doing things, of thinking and pondering them, you realize that by traveling because people can soon tell that you are from here; because of your accent, your smile and openness: as if they were your long-term buddies.
We immediately call people by their first names, which might, at times, be considered a bit annoying. It is because this land is generous and happy; it is a place that makes you feel good, where everyone feels at home for the warmth felt everywhere.
We are driven by the urge to get to know people, to crack jokes, to constantly come up with something to say and get involved in conversations that might not even concern us.
We are obsessed by food, always talking about it even while dining: food is one of the main topics in conversations here, and the kitchen has always been the heart of the house: the place where families gather, and undoubtedly the most important one. R
Romagna is the land of "feeling good", of having fun, where a "peasant" atmosphere always puts you at ease.
ROME AND ME
by Elisabetta Martinez
Let us enter Rome, my city.
And let us start from here, from my studio house. There it is down below from the top of my suburbs: the air is thin, a gushing light, a marvelous complexity stretched out and relaxed in its deep sleep of images and colors… Waiting for me.
It is history and myth, often the retainer of long distant eras, and you can experience them all, and all at once.
It is pure magic! Life coexistence in transformation.
You have no ideas how many times I have dissected it into the primary signs of its changing and then stitched it back together, just to understand it.
I see now that the cracks between elements and planes. My visions, are in fact entirely in me, in us; unique complex forms, disassembled and reassembled back by ribbons of golden light; rupture and rebirth; traces of wounds and changes in millennial histories. What unites and binds us!
This is how my journey began: I have climbed onto its back, I have walked through its streets and looked down its wells, acoustic telescopes, and like that, leaning out between present and past I have heard its magic, the sound of footsteps on the little cobblestones, echoes of voices from outdoor markets and squares, carters and peddlers. The clamor of Roman dialect and the music of folk songs… I belong to that light.
I have embraced years of photos, sketches, kisses and laughter; up along domes, walls, arches and bridges just to hear the sound of the river. And then down on a vertical dive to study Art; up on narrow stairways, tight passageways, excavations and ruins, searching for the Empire and the Republic; the spectacular Forma Urbis, the years of the great Architecture.
Rome was “Villa Giulia”, the University Faculty; an endless coming and going of young men and women up the hill and then again in the great auditoriums and up the majestic staircases, holding drawing tubes and portfolios like rolls of ideas and long nights or precious shrines of onionskin layers.
The noise, the hubbub, the traffic and the crowds. Thick glues sticking on your soles: “the hectic city”, which at times pushed me away and thus. It was just mere attraction and adventure. Headlights in the darkness and muggy fog in the night. Hanging out among clubs and music, and chatting with the first, still hot croissants on the stairs of “Trilussa” and the pinkish dawns of the Janiculum.
I find myself in those “literary salons” and I rest on those sofas made of steps, seats of cold marble or red-hot concrete. Rain or shine, carrying easels and paintings on my shoulders. I join the cheerful chatter of other painters and colors and street music.
Rome and me, always the same canvas, but a different stitching: going in and out and rereading my story in its signs. I travel light in its flow, in my attempt to unravel it.
PAOLO CAMAETI AND CESENA
An indissoluble bond
“Cesena is my territory. I had several occasions to move to Milan, first to work in an important advertising agency and then to open an art studio, as my friend Claudio Rizzi wanted me to, but I could never manage to get used to those frenzy and - let me say - modest humanity levels... For nothing in the world I would have given up on my hills, the escapes to Sorrivoli, the peace of this landscape..." By these words Paolo begins to tell his relationship with the place where he has been always living and working. “It is clear that in terms of notoriety the choice to remain in Romagna has exacted a price (until now I say), but the link with the territory is something that goes beyond 'career' opportunities.”
Cesena but not only. The fundamental push to develop the pictorial art came 'by chance' when in the early ‘80s his friend Nino Agostini took him to the main hall of the Rocca di Meldola (on the Forlì hills not far from home), then owned by Tonino Simoncelli: the La Rocca Art and Studio Center. Here every Thursday evening, from after dinner until late at night, a dozen of painters, sculptors, engravers were freely found and each practiced his/her art, contaminating and concentrating in a unique, fruitful and explosive environment, blessed by a large fireplace, whose flames set Paolo creative soul on fire. Here he painted and drew like a maniac. And even after closing time at midnight, he would migrate with his friend to an historic bar in the village and stay until 3 in the morning smoking, drinking rum and drawing. The years of the bohemian: "for ten years the most beautiful evenings of my life.”
Paolo is a man of passions. Beyond the "mask" with which he descends into the social arena, his soul is warm and vibrates. In this too he is deeply a Romagna man. He surrendered relatively late at the wedding, until that moment - like sang Fabrizio De André - I fell in love with everything, he was constantly drunk with amorous emotions. But this was not actually the engine of his creativity, born long before hormonal development and which still today takes him by the hand leading him to create ever more dense and mature works in his beloved laboratory.
Another Paolo’s passion is wine, a late passion, of mature age, when he finally decided to quit smoking some twenty years ago. Without ever (more) abusing it, his innate curiosity led him to explore and experiment with wineries and producers far and wide until he landed on his beloved Tuscan wine-maker (amazing, I adopted him too thanks to Paolo).
We conclude this brief story with one of Paolo's rare writings written in the summer of 1984 which, despite his uncle's name being Walter Galli (a well-known poet from the last century from Romagna, ed), he never managed to entrust too much to words. And it's a shame because I think I can say that we have lost some treasure.
“This morning at 5 I rediscovered the city. I walked it first, surrounded, possessed. I understood why I have always loved her and I removed that excess of modesty that did not allow me to caress her. I found ancient atmospheres next to the old walls and I was so taken that even the most distant memories, those of childhood, seemed to be so close, as of tomorrow. Older women go to first mass, they always look the same, made of black stone, they remind you that life is a corridor that you try to zigzag to arrive later. The first rays of the sun light up the leaves, they try to chase away the melancholy but by now it is too late, the city is starting to live again, it is no longer mine."
Beauty has no borders
by Ettore Mildwin
Off the beaten tracks of tourists, Thailand is quiet and orderly. Warm and kind, aware of the immense fortune the Gods have given “her” as for climate, resources and location.
What we keep on calling “civilization” has cost us greatly in terms of bulldozers and deforestation. And yet, “she” seems to be holding on, as if knowing that these delusional decades are just petty tactics which will fade, leaving behind, for a little longer, just a lingering sour smell.
In the eyes of the people of this land there is a gentleness I do not comprehend whether it starts from the eyes or returns to them, every single day; and this sense of abandonment never leaves you, regardless of where you are; walking in a forest or on the edge of the ocean; on a narrow village street or in the bustle of the city of Bangkok.
Or should I say, hardly ever leaves you: when brushing the puddles where the sinister trade of human flesh takes place then, a fetid ghostly hand squeezes your heart because no justification is possible for such abuses.
I have only been there once so far and just for a few days, but meeting art was very natural. I have found it exactly the way I like it: moving aside noise and obviousness and looking for the people who are themselves looking. People full of something that is rare to be found and thus, so invaluable; capable of producing worth with a minimum environmental impact.
It was there that I sat down, in those shops; waiting, breathing and by simply being in; to understand if that beauty could have been mine too, or of others as well, though perfectly aware that beauty cannot belong to anyone.