24 May 2010

forgive the quality...

but here's a video for Angela and her family :-)

Today I am grateful for understanding and patient people.

along the way

Check the Legato blog for photos. The exhibition is now into week two.

Today I am grateful for good food and company.

14 May 2010

The Artist has left the building....

Here is a post copied from the "Legato" blog.

The Commander-in-Chief of this army of peace has given the job of (Legato's) blog to a lesser ranked communications officer. I'm Nicola, the videographer for the Legato exhibition, and on the eve of the opening I've taken over the writing of this blog. Please excuse the change of style. Kay is currently lost under lists of things to do and only the scent of tea or the sound of a cell-phone brings her to the surface.

Over the last few days the pace has changed from hectic to chaotic as wave after wave of kiwi artists (lugging tubes of rolled canvas and oddly shaped parcels) sweep into the small Italian village of Roccasecca. It's a bit ironic that an exhibition promoting peace has prompted such tumult and noise. "Legato" is demonstrating that peace can be a state of delight and laughter, not just calm. It is also showing that there is room for lofty ideas and philosophical chat alongside the mundane minutae of bedding, brackets and bolts, or breakfast in a foreign place.

By tomorrow night (Italian time) the artworks will be in place, the opening party will have started and those lucky enough to be here will be able to view the culmination of a huge amount of effort from many many people, all working towards the common goal of world peace and rememberance. We wish you were here to enjoy it too.

For those that couldn't make the trip I am hoping to have video highlights throughout the course of the exhibition available online, so keep checking this blog for updates.

11 May 2010

the ups and downs... and up again!

Six travellers, including three artists and their works, will be a day late as their flight out of Auckland was cancelled. That really stretched my Italian, changing their accommodation bookings by phone!

The brochure for Legato, which really is more of an essay with illustrations, is ready to be put to bed... that was REALLY cutting it fine!

The works are still arriving daily, or not arriving, depending on how you look at it. I will not stress! We have more than enough for an exhibition, but it would be better not to be changing it every day, which I will do if works arrive late. Ah well, if life were simple it would be less interesting.. maybe?

The four lots of works that arrived yesterday were very interesting... completely diverse, and equally wonderful! Kiwi artists are right up there with the rest of the world.... and ahead in many ways! Perhaps because of our isolation we do try harder?

Zacchi has an upset tummy. I think that maybe when the Kiwi artist and friend arrived yesterday with two bags (artwork, wonderful!) he thought that I was heading away again. Poor wee mite.

I have a list a mile long, things to do, but somewhere inside me I know that they wont be done, they are not so important. More important for me now is to "chill out" with my blog and my cuppa, and hope that I will be disturbed by arriving artworks.

The Legato blog has had well over 3000 hits in only a few weeks... 8 or 9 weeks, I think it is. There are as many now from Italy as from NZ. That's well worth the effort, spreading the word!

And after Legato? "But wait, there's more". Yes, an equally important project, this time in summertime New Zealand. Watch this space!

Today I am thankful for loyal friends.

8 May 2010

time to make a stand

The more I thought about the senseless dangers of the unexploded bombs in these hillsides the more I was determined to finish this painting. It was not so much about having the work in the exhibition as an exhibiting artist, but about not missing the opportunity to highlight the dangers that the civilians here still live with, 66 years after the war has ended.

The late Princess Diana led a high profile campaign against land mines. I don't know if this work continues, I hope so. If there are any other high profile figures out there who will come and join me, to highlight this cause, please let me know! In the meantime, I'll fight a low profile battle to clean up these beautiful mountains. My Italian vocabulary is not adequate, but maybe my paints and brush will speak for me. This is the test painting. There will be more, bigger, better, speaking louder! A picture paints 1000 words. Instead of counting words, let's make those words count.
Today I am grateful for passion and energy.

7 May 2010

shifting the gaze

"They Were Only Boys: 1944-2010"

So nearly finished... I think the title works as I have written it above. However, comments are welcome if anyone has a better idea for it!

Today I am grateful for the right to protest.

3 May 2010

maybe tomorrow

Maybe tomorrow I can get this finished. But I think that today I should show it to my biggest and most useful critic, my picture framer. I am not objective enough at the moment, too close to it, and I know that there are parts I will never be satisfied with. If they get by him, then I can live with the message being more important than the painting. If not... another lesson in what happens when you try to do too many things at once! I went to sleep thinking about this painting, then when Zacchi woke me by barking at the fox (3am every morning) it hit me that this is neither about peace nor commemoration. It was inspired by true stories of post-war tragedies, but, in effect, it is about today, and the legacy of war. When even the curator gets it wrong... anything goes!

Today I am grateful for honest and helpful art critics.

2 May 2010


Working title: They Were Just/Only Boys. (Just/Only - I am not sure which word will translate more accurately).

Progress after day two. The challenge for me is to make these figures real, or real enough to carry meaning, as with such a horrible message I didn't want to use real models.

I have chosen the title to link the tragedy of 65 years ago to the present. So often I hear people say "They were just boys" when they read the names and ages in the war cemeteries. Here we still deal with the legacy of the war, with children, trampers and hunters at risk every time they venture into some of these mountains. I have heard stories of children playing with grenades and bombs completely oblivious to the danger, and adults with little more knowledge or respect for the unstable mortars picking them up to have a closer look. The danger is real, and is not going away.

Today I am grateful for journalists.