In 2015 the visit to Studio Cromie in Grottaglie was different, all the olive trees are dying due to the bacteria Xylella Fastidiosa. A very sad time, also since this was to be the last group Fame Festival exhibition 'Castastrofe'.
Painting the canvases in the olive fields outside Grottaglie...
'Xylella Fastidiosa I, II, III'
Ink, acrylic, dirt on canvas. 109cm
5 of the 9 'cluster' ramblings I made whilst visiting...
Going back into the archives: Almost every year I've made a trip to Grottaglie. Enticed by the food, the Milanos and all those walls to paint but also it's terracotta ceramics. This year was the year of the large plates (45cm and 35cm diameter) with an experimental t-shirt and alleyway painting...here's a short video by Matthew J Watkins.
'Ceramic plate 3'
Glaced terracotta, ceramic ink
35 x 35 cm, signed on the back.
Various works available via Studio Cromie
I made over 150 tiles for this year's installation, varying sizes sprawling across the gallery floor.
Still from a short film by Studio Cromie showing the tiles being made. It also depicts the other floor piece I made that trip, a painted tree of faces and hopscotch, twisting up through the old streets where the children play.
My visit in 2010 I painted a few murals, only have some bad photos left but the memories I'll never forget; biscuits and squash from neighbours whilst a man watched me all day in his pants. After I'd finished he invited me to meet his elderly mother and look in his basement...not something I'd usually take up the offer of but I couldn't resist. I ventured down the dark steps not understanding a word he said, into a huge room absolutely full of his sculptural religious artworks. I was blown away.
This electricity tower is in the middle of the countryside, from the motorway you can just see the bird peeping up through the fields. My favourite short film by Matthew J Watkins is of this being made whilst Angelo slaps his well fed belly for musical accompaniment.
Traditional jugs from the Puglia area. Fame Festival. The word 'fame' has a double meaning, that of hunger in Italian and fame in English. The large jug relies on the smaller ones to fill it. Hunger and need, ego and greed.
'the world has enough for our needs...'
Two color screenprint on 100% cotton ivory paper
56 x 76 cm, edition of 7 copies, signed and numbered by the artist
'but not for our greed'
Two colors screenprint on 100% cotton paper
56 x 76 cm, edition of 100 copies, signed and numbered by the artist
Made in Italy, Studio Cromie.
In Grottaglie there was a derelict monastery that I'd painted the year before. I went back before the group show opening in 2009 to mess around and see what else emerged over the previous green image. Then my torch broke and I got chased out by a pack of feral dogs. One to remember.
The was the very first Fame Festival with a strong line up.
Thanks Angelo Milano (Studio Cromie) I've had some of my favourite times in Grottaglie and made some good friends along the way.
Large vase and numerous plates, my early attempts at painting on ceramics. (Thanks to Angelo's dad Enzo for the title). DIsplayed alongside JR's photo of one of the oldest ceramicists in town.
One of the plates which somehow ended up being recreated as a bad copy and discovered in a service station in Albania.
The first paint I laid in Grottaglie back in 2008 on the staircase in the Quartiere delle Ceramiche. Still there but faded in that Southern sun.