art Project:

Il Labirinto

Il Labirinto Festival
Calvi dell’Umbria, Italy 2017

I had an opportunity to show this piece of work in Italy as part of a yearly festival held in the medieval town of Calvi dell’Umbria. 

Initially created for Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and making reference to my connections to Cornwall and Italy, I was delighted to be able to install it in the streets of a town I have considered my Italian home for the past 29 years.

Blood and Stone

Il Labirinto is a festival that brings together artists, performers and events for one night.  Trapeze artists can be found suspended from the arches, string quartets set up around the cobbled streets, projections onto buildings glow in the darkness. The community invites fire eaters, flag throwers, stall holders of food, local produce and crafts.

My sister, Francesca who lives there, has been a founder member of the festival and is involved every year as an artist and coordinator.  Installing the dress in the quiet, warm climate in Umbria, I was reminded of the sharp contrast to the making of it years earlier in a drafty Cornish studio.

In this Italian setting, the audience approached it from above looking down onto it, watching it suspended above the streets.  In daylight the colours of the dress blended into the worn golden walls of the houses.

Seeing this piece in this Italian setting reinforced the theme of duality in my work.  While constructing it in Cornwall I was aware of the Italian references to marble and the gentle light, but showing it in Italy made these connections all the more powerful.  The responses to it by the different audiences also intrigued me; coming across it, walking underneath it on the streets as part of an event made it look as if it belonged there.

People’s reactions varied from the curious and intrigued to almost not noticing it due to its merging into the surroundings.