A Year in Venice

The following are a series of statements by the author about aspects of his life in Venice.

- My apartment is on the first floor of a 15th C. Venetian house  just off the Barbaria della Tole in the district of Castello – a ten minute walk from Rialto Bridge. Old stone steps lead up from a small ancient courtyard to my door…  and my landlady, who lives in the apartment above, is an opera singer who sends her arpeggios out into the night…

- Even on a bright sunny day Venice can feel closed in. There are many places that have never seen the sun for centuries. Even so, marvellous colours and textures exist in these time worn shadows – old stone and brick, stucco and paint, bleached timber and corroded metal,  and all come down to us…

- In churches across the city you can stand in subdued light and let your eyes grow familiar with the rich colours and materials of baroque extravagance. These regular visits to churches influenced both the form and content of my work.

- I walked out and into the city at night. Empty streets. History whispering at every turn.  A stage set with the drama of its architecture and canals played out against street lighting and the shadowy merging of sooty colours.

Walking, drawing and painting all go together very well. I often feel as if I am walking my way into an image.

- Stepping out of my door in Castello I just followed my feet. Walking the length and breadth of the city on a daily basis I began to find my favourite places… places to sit and draw and read or just breath it all in… Campo Bragora – eating chocolate with the old matriarch – Campo Apostoli – with the Russian women and their raucous laughter and gold teeth – Santa Maria Nuova – watching the Miracoli glow in the evening light – Looking out to San Giorgio Maggiore from the seats outside Hotel Metropole on the Riva… to name a few.

- What tugs at the heart is the beauty and melancholy of the city – this combination finds a way into the soul like the ebb and flow of the tide. It leaves behind the slow marking of time, defining both the fragility of the city and our own mortality.

John Trigg