Updated: Jan 12, 2020
They say Bologna is Italia's Amsterdam. It is considered the city of bikes and for good reason. With such a flat centre, it seems the most economical and time savvy to ride the beautiful and historical city streets. Bologna is home to the oldest university in the world which gives it such a cosmopolitan character. I have grown fond of this city, despite the constant tourists and hustle bustle in the heart of the city. If you are travelling to Bologna the one thing I would suggest is to watch your bags as I have never been approached by so many people asking me for money. It was quite confronting the first few days, as I was approached at cafes and restaurants by homeless people. But as gut wrenching as it may be, I also think about how damn hard I have worked to be here, in this moment. How many hundred hours it takes for me to make a single artwork and sell it for what feels like minimum wage. Even more so, once galleries take over 40% and my framing costs at least $20,000 per year, it is not the glamorous lifestyle one might think.
So I come to this land of wine and olives absolutely grateful to everyone that has supported me with my practice. To those that have purchased an artwork over the years or even bought one of my designs, I am eternally grateful. I will make sure I drink a glass of wine for each one of you whilst I am here! These art residencies are opportunities to find the inspiration, the ideas and concepts I need to create new bodies of work and to progress in technique. I could be walking along a side street and come across an old window, a vintage bicycle or a gothic archway could spark my imagination. Each one of my artworks tell a narrative, a story from my imagination, memory or moment in time.
But as much as ideas bring me inspiration, I have developed new techniques on this trip which I never thought I would learn. Not just using photopolymer etching plates, but using copper, using less ink, pulling whites out onto the paper and experimenting with allot more colour. I hope to bring ultramarine blues, greens and more gold into my work, bringing emphasis on the whimsical and playful. Being inspired by the National Gallery of Bologna, I found paintings pre-dated to the 11th century that incorporated allegorical motifs and religious iconography. How incredible is it that all this history is preserved? I am seriously in awe.