‘resting in the centre’
Sei italiano? Vedi giù dove presento il mio primo VLOG in italiano – yey!
I’m deep into making my pop-up shop this week! I love pop-up shops, galleries, markets and the like, and have been setting up my own, like bright mushrooms appearing overnight, in various countries, over the past 15 yrs or so.
Making a pop-up shop or event is a fabulous way of getting over the issues of both overheads, and the stagnant nature of long-term shop-keeping! The latter is important to me. I don’t like sitting doing nothing, between customers!
It’s a great way of meeting your public too; having a few days or a couple of weeks of intensive interaction: chatting, gathering contacts, telling people the story of my business and lifestyle as an artist… It often leads to fab spontaneous connections, and brings energy and dynamic dialogue into the house, which contrasts nicely with my usually-solitary practise!
detail of ‘surrounded by gold‘
It is also very positive to have a deadline. As a freelance artist, working to their own rhythm and speed, a clear date helps hone not only the artwork and presentation of wares, but the intention we have with our audience. Helps us to hone in on what we’re really sharing, and why.
So the kitchen table has been strewn with small brick forms, each originating from the old bread oven, which I dismantled by hand early this year. Each small artwork has already had a couple of incarnations: a long stage of preparation (dusting off, cleaning of cement and soot, washing thoroughly, being coated with several layers of white priming paint, and then eventually having stucco applied, to help them stand on their own).
They then were drawn on in pencil, and made into the installation in the old stable, during our Ri-CREARE festival: an arc of small, hand-drawn figured on brick, all lit up by candles, call The Church Inside Me. See this blog for more imagery and story.
The pieces are now being developed into small sacred creations, like modern icons; affirmations and gold paint to accentuate parts of the body, and to describe positive energy around them. It is a very enjoyable process, and makes me feel closer to what I want to communicate to the world: creativity, good energy and inner peace. Each piece on stone has taken around 10 hours to create.
The old stable is a beautiful arched ceiling room, which opens out onto the street by a marble door frame. It’s not all about location-location, so I tend to set up a shop, even a temporary one, during other events, like Vinalia and Ri-CREARE, and now during the presepi, when I know there will be people passing through. This also gives my customers and additional reason to visit.
As you’ll see from the blog I shared above (see here), the old stable was quite a mess when I first came across it! I took out 3 large sacks just of dust, from the several centuries of chicken and donkey business which had lived there right up until 20 yrs ago. An old neighbour told me once how, as a child, he’d regularly find large animals -cows, donkeys, bulls- blocking the street and, because it was so narrow, he’d have to crawl under them to get to his house! Hehe! He said, the mornings were always a great cacophony of noise, with all the moo-ing and braying and cock-a-doodle-doing!
The doors at Via Dietro Gli Orti 37 open on Monday 15th December, alongside the town’s presepi festival, which is also filling up old stables and cellars throughout the centro storico. Presepi are the Neapolitan tradition of constructing tiny, detailed nativity scenes – some of them very intricate and elaborate, actually.
The very first evening I ever spent in Guardia was during the last presepi they did in 2009, so this is especially special for me to experience again – and to be part of!
I adore atmospheric, sacred spaces, and collaborative creative activities, so this week is just lovely to be part of, watching folks prepare all around the town, and everyone chatting about it, looking forward to the 15th.
If you like the artworks displayed above, you can also buy them – from anywhere in the world! – via my just-launched Etsy shop, here.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING!
and if I don’t see you in Guardia soon,
speak to you again next Friday evening!
Go check out my ABOUT page, if you like what you’ve read!
Tante belle cose, Clare
Below is my very first vlog (videoblog) in Italian, for my Italiano people – yey!
Sotto e il mio primo vlog in italiano!