I am writing this post at the end of October 2020 - not exactly the happiest times of our recent history. I just got back a few days ago to London, where the second wave of COVID-19 is on the rise, and a potential lockdown is likely to happen again in the coming days. This post, however, is about September 2020.
September was a good month. I had the opportunity to attend an Artist-in-residence program in Tuscany, Italy. The place, hosted by a couple of artists, is called “Borgo del Sole'' and is located in San Romano, the mountains, close to Lucca. Lost in nature, I thought of this environment as the right place to disconnect from the city, experience the countryside of Tuscany, exchange ideas with other artists, discuss their creative process, make friendships and the most important thing, create!
I had a clear idea of the things I was going to be working on there. At the same time, I let myself be guided by the energy of the place. After arriving, visiting the area, and going to the Serchio river under one of the huge bridges at Viletta, I felt so inspired and touched by the energy, the beautiful stones, the colours, the water, and the way the sun was getting through the trees.
I soon decided to focus on the stones for a series of drawings I’m still working on, and for a video-work recorded on the river. Both the drawings and video explore the theme of migration along with our notion of borders - themes naturally related to myself, an individual who is part of the Venezuelan diaspora, and whose family and friends have also lived the experience of migration. Of course, this topic goes well beyond the personal experience of a single human, but it is also about immigration in Italy, a country that has a history and ongoing issues with the African refugees.
My aim is to create a series of works that invites to question the current meaning of borders - I have the feeling that many of us can agree that there’s something obsolete and abstract attached to this concept. Moreover, it’s an invitation to be more conscious about the emotional scars caused by the process of migration. I am still working on the video and the drawings, so expect to read more details about it in the coming weeks.