I have to admit it. I had certain expectations of Italy. I try to approach travel with a ‘no expectations’ mantra. But for this trip I was definitely influenced by stories my mom had told me, memories from childhood, Instagram imagery, and, of course, television.
Having an Italian background, I imagined I would ‘find my people.’ I did not. I found the culture in Italy very different from the Italian American culture I grew up around in the South End of Hartford, Connecticut. It was a tight-knit community, very much influenced by their new environment, where they eased up on tradition and became a bit more lighthearted.
Life in the Tuscan hills seems to have remained untouched. Many occupations have obviously continued for centuries … wine and olive oil production, woodcraft and leather craft. I imagine the hills of Tuscany looked very much the same hundreds of years ago.
Although I did not find my people so to speak, I did find inspiration. The effect of time on doors, windows, walls, and floors was exciting to look at and photograph. Experiencing buildings constructed in the 12th century or before … I found myself stopping and staring and imaging what life was like so long ago. Amongst this ancient backdrop, women dressed in haute couture, an eclectic mix of modern style and classic fabrics. The juxtaposition of old and new, ancient and modern was exhilarating. I do love contrasts and textures so, it fueled me creatively. My heart was racing, my brain filling with idea after idea, layers of concepts forming as I walked the narrow streets. Rough stucco and crumbling brick encouraged me to once again work with textures. Intersecting buildings inspired geometric design concepts. Eclectic interiors and clothing design influenced me to craft photography composites.Looking back in time helped me imagine the future. To envision the work I will to create over the next few years, seeing it hang there on the wall as if it has already been accomplished.
Looking back in time helped me imagine the future. To envision the work I will to create over the next few years, seeing it hang there on the wall as if it has already been accomplished.
Tuscan villa near Castiglion Fiorentino available on airbnb here.
Tuscan texture packs coming soon. Current texture packs and stock images available here.