During this experience here, one of the modules I have chosen was Xilografia. Xilografia runs every Wednesday from 9-18.
I was struggling at first trying to figure out in which direction to go. I began looking at Venice and it’s beautiful buildings that you cannot experience back in the UK. These buildings are extraordinary and what is a better subject than a new city and its surroundings you get to experience everyday.
I began picking out buildings and trying to go into an illustrative direction. I wanted my prints to be clear and sharp. I have not done print making since the Leaving Cert and getting back into it felt great.
I used black in in the majority of my prints purely due to the fact that it was the only colour accessible in the print making studio. But it didn’t cause an issue for me. One colour prints are also very interesting and simple.
The only issue I had was trying to keep my printing professor satisfied with the cleanliness of the prints. I felt like I was a bit limited with experimenting. I feel the professor only wanted just clean and well presented prints. Which really made me realise how different university is here. The professors specialise in each module ; print making, photography, anatomy, design etc. and they are the people marking your work. They have their own guidelines and unlike in Cardiff you cannot really experiment as much, unless you are doing an experimental printing.
Nicole and myself have decided to devote our day to paper making. Originally Nicole needed some hand made paper towards her catalogue she is making for her subject and I thought that it was a great opportunity to get some paper done for myself.
Unfortunately in the academy there aren’t any resources for paper making therefore Nicole went out and bought tools for us to make a mash from. Those were created from photo frames(wooden) and a material that was closest she was able to find to a mesh. We began hammering the mesh and wooden frames together and make them tight so the paper is stretched well.
It was a lot of work and thought process put into making these meshes a success and it definitely showed us how to be innovative with tools and create things from scratch when you’re desperate and that anything can be done if you put your mind to it.
We began cutting the pieces of paper and using catalogues found from the biennale.
The paper was coming out very thin at the start and the paper pulp wasn’t right. It took a lot of effort to make it right and I feel that this won’t be the last time we make paper here.
Today I have experienced the high water in Venice! Venice is literally sinking. When the high tide comes in all the canals overflow onto the concrete and into the houses. San Marco square is definitely the main places to see the high water first, as it is the lowest part of Venice.
Reading up on Acqua Alta I found the factors as to why this happens : A very high tide (usually during a full or new moon), low atmospheric pressure and a scirocco wind blowing up the narrow, shallow Adriatic Sea, which forces water into the Venetian Lagoon.
The worst flood ever recorded was one back in the 1966.
It is very exciting to see something like this happen in a city! It’s something normal that happens couple of times in the year in Venice and it’s definitely worth to go and see and get your feet wet.
I had couple of ideas going through my head towards a context/theme for my photography project. Nothing was really exciting though and because I am in Venice these photographs are most likely going to be based here. Therefore I don’t want them to be touristy photos of canals, gondolas, basilicas etc.. One artist was always in my head when I think about future photography projects and that is Alexey Titarenko whom I’ve already briefly looked at last year towards my photographs for summative assessments. I haven’t truly explored what slow shutter photographs are and how I can possibly use this tool. His photographs are very haunting. I don’t know if I want my photographs to be haunting too.. I think from what I have taken today I am quite interested in the tourist context of Venice. There is soooo many people here! One bridge is like being in an underground full of people! That’s why San Marco is the lowest point in Venice, because of all these people (actually that’s not true).. So looking at all these people ‘lost’ with their maps, getting in your way by stopping at a random stop right in front of you, taking selfies everywhere and the fact that there is so many people here.. apparently there are approximately 60,000 people visiting Venice EACH day!!!! And most of them are probably in San Marco Square or Rialto Bridge.. It’s just overwhelming. 60,000 is a number, but when you think of it in a scale to people it’s weird. All those people are wondering the streets of Venice, coming and going. They are wondering souls that I took some shots of today..