Tommy Taylor shares his recent experience at Artestudio Ginestrelle

Whitespace artist, Tommy Taylor, guest blogs about his recent artist-in-residency experience at Artestudio Ginestrelle, which offers a residency program to literary, visual and performing artists worldwide and is located outside the beautiful town of Assisi in Italy.

Tommy Taylor ArteStudio Ginestrelle

Tommy Taylor ArteStudio Ginestrelle

In March I traveled to the Artestudio Ginestrelle on Mount Sabassio in Umbria, Italy. The residency was for 24 days in a 250 year old farm house in a nature preserve outside of the amazingly preserved town of Assisi. Other artist in attendance included a photographer from Paris, a video artist from Colombia, S. America, an architect and children’s book illustrator from S Korea, a composer from Japan, a poet from Finland, and other painters from Switzerland and Singapore.

Tommy Taylor ArteStudio GinestrelleEach day started with an casual family style breakfast consisting of fried eggs with local truffle and toast with honey from the neighbors farm, as well as many great and new cheeses. From there the residents were free to work, hike the surrounding hills, or drive into Assisi for the day. On one of the day trips into the city, we witnessed the finish of that day’s leg of the Giro d’Italia (Italy’s famous cross country bike race). After crossing the finish line the winner of that day stopped right in front of us. Soon we were all surrounded by cameramen. It was surreal to see ourselves on the Eurosport television coverage that evening. That day we also visited the St. Frances Basilica….a church I had studied extensively at UGA many many years ago. It was as if I had walked into the dusty old Mid-Evil Art History book that sits on my shelf today.

During the residency I worked solely on drawings. My goal was to complete a finished 24×18″ drawing on the days that I was working. I was able to complete several of these and left two behind for an upcoming group show in Assisi this December. The end of the residency was very much like the days from childhood where a summer camp ended all too soon, and the time had come to part company with your new friends.
Tommy Taylor ArteStudio Ginestrelle
Before returning to Atlanta I visited Florence and Rome. A friend had given me some new music to listen to on the trip and I found myself taking in the museums during the day and walking the narrow streets at night listening to the moody and dark music of Bohren and Der Club of Gore. The mystic, down beat ambient music seemed to perfectly suit the mood of a stranger navigating an acient city in all its crumbling glory. I could feel the weight of time like never before.
Upon returning I found I had been given new insights to my own work as well as new perspectives and interest in new approaches. I also found a renewed appreciation for my current hometown of Atlanta as I was glad to have gone, but equally glad to be back.

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