I was invited to the Sunday family lunch in Chianti. The original plan for my part of Italy trip was travelling Florence after this lunch gathering. Well…I couldn’t go further from this lovely casa in Chianti with my plaster and crutches. I had to satisfy with drinking un caffè in the Florence scenery cup. The warm welcome from the relatives of Alessia consoled me and I was happy to be in the region where my favourite Italian vino came from. The cypress trees were making the beautiful Tuscany landscape along with the famous olive trees and wineries. The art works surrounding the wall of the house were telling me that the owner of house is the art appreciator con il gusto del bello. Starting with the gourmet homemade prosciutto & salami antipasto, the feast seemed endless along with cheerful and enthusiastic family talk.
Somehow I bumped into this Art Prize last year and the ‘Domestic Bliss’ photography series by Patty Carroll captured my eyes quite for a long time. And I wanted to be involved with this international art prize myself. I have been trying several competitions in Australia but not much outside of the box. So I thought it was a good chance to put my photography work among international contemporary art works. And then, the great pleasure! My ‘Burnt 4′ photograph from the ‘Serenity’ series was selected as the finalist out of 7000 applicants. I made an excuse for Italy trip and headed to the exhibition opening in Venice : the water city and too beautiful to be blamed as the spoiled tourist city. When I arrived at the exhibition place Nappe Arsenal by the private boat, the place reminded me of the 17th Biennale opening night at Cockatoo island in Sydney with the extra delightful moment of the red carpet walking and the photo flash. I was glad with the exhibition space, the dilapidated building with the rustic texture as I always wanted to show this particular photograph in this kind of place. After appreciating the diverse art works including sculpture, video, installation, and performance arts, the boat led artists to the Red party at the gorgeous ‘Palazzo Zenobio’. I remember playing the grand piano after several glasses of champagne surrounded by the overwhelming frescoes and had a lost-along-the-water chat with Italian friends crossing several small bridges on the way to the hotel.