Every workshop brings a surprise to me but this last one at Cittadella more so than any other.
So what was so different?
We tried new things.
We had an Open Day between workshops and invited the public to wander around and see what we were up to. We put up an exhibition of past and present artwork, some from our Civitanova Alta show in July, and then a GONG one-man concert by Giovanni dal Salvio, where he also gave free gong baths to visitors
We gave demonstrations in mono printing too,
and Silvio, the owner of Cittadella, orchestrated the catering (and the weather did its best as well)
And the group?
A wonderful mixture of English and Italian speaking folk who conversed in that wonderful way that art has of dissolving barriers of comunication.
We gonged and painted; tried both simultaneousy, and discovered the power and beauty of vibration, how it empties the busy mind of its nonsensical chattering and allows in colour and form and beauty.
We took trips out to the hot mineral springs of Lu Vurghe to experience sensorial wonders where all the senses blend in harmony.
We travelled across the hills between Montemonaco and Montefortino to the upper valley of the river Ambro, climbing up past the Abbey of Madonna dal Ambro to the old pagan copses and waterfalls where we wrote Haiku poetry as if it were the most natural way in the world as a way of paying homage to nature in this sacred spot.
We began our days with Ci Kung around the pool and ended them talking into the night, well after other Cittadella guests had left their dinner tables
Studio days found us gonging and painting and writng poetry in harmony with each other and often actually together too, (see painting above) and we laughed and sang and often cried at the sheer joy of being alive and nurtured by the majestic Monte Vettore hovering in the sky above us.
On our final evening we made music. Giovanni distributed his many musical instruments amongst us and (for whatever reason) he chose me to be the conductor. But it worked.
And on our final morning the group made one final painting together, which we left as a gift for Silvio
Such is the nature of our Cittadella workshops; to celebrate art and life itself, to take risks and to support each other in creating beyond ourselves and to give light to the dark.