Last week I had an unexpected treat.
I went to see an exhibition in Venice.
It was part of the Biennale and in the Palazzo Mora, European Cultural centre and the title of the exhibition was Personal Structures open borders.
The Palazzo Mora is along a busy thoroughfare and you know you've gone too far when you can smell the perfume from the Lush shop.
The moment you step through the gates of the Palazzo you feel you could be entering a magic kingdom. Scents from the jasmine bushes waft around you on the warm spring air. You are no longer on a busy street passing stalls of trinkets and coffee bars but in a garden, in Venice, on an evening in May and you sense the excitement and anticipation that often surrounds Art exhibitions.
A pretty girl that could have stepped out of a painting by Gauguin is offering cup cakes, yes cupcakes! Chocolate sponge topped with whipped cream and sugar flowers like the one in her hair, reminding her of her South sea island home. There is Prosecco too, we are in Venice after all, a trio of musicians start to play softly by your side and the party has begun.
The stairs leading up into the Palazzo are lined with bags containing the catalogue of the exhibition. We looked straight away for our friend's exhibit and there she was on page 76, Sophie Dickens.
The journey to find her statue took us through a labyrinth of rooms, terraces, stairways, cubby holes, all filled with art works, covering a whole range of topics from world strife, to children's playgrounds. Everything was beautifully and lovingly displayed and there was something for every taste.
What is Art after all? We just have to give small children some sheets of paper and coloured pencils, dough or modelling clay and they will all be heads down, producing works of art. To do this they will use their imaginations and express their feelings, then if you are lucky you will be offered the gift of their creativity.
The sun, bright yellow and round will usually sit in the top right hand corner, trees and flowers will abound, a little house with a door, maybe there will be lots and lots of hearts and your name, and maybe a declaration of love.
Give children a lump of dough and they will soon be rolling away, cutting out shapes and creating works of art, biscuits, animals, all manner of shapes and sizes.
Small children hold the secret to the meaning of art, producing or creating something using your feelings, emotions and senses that will then be a gift, something we can all enjoy and that will make us think, that will connect us in some way.
That is what artists want us to do, they want us to enjoy their work and they want it to make us think, to enlarge our hearts and enrich our souls and to unite us, make us feel less alone.
Sophie Dickens statue does just this. She has put her heart and soul into her work, using wood and bronze. We can see her passion for her work, for her life companion and the deep bond between them.
Sophie gave her statue the title 'Together, Forever', but she is happy for anyone to interpret it as they wish.
The whole exhibition at the Palazzo Mora is uplifting and stimulating. The Palazzo itself is harmonious and interesting. As you wander through the rooms and duck your head on the beams, peer over the edge of the many small terraces, you might wonder what it would have been like to have lived here, when Venice was a ballroom, life was a constant party, and on a warm, balmy spring evening in May you would have listened to a discrete trio of musicians, sipped at a glass of wine, admired the beautiful architecture created by man and watched the sun go down over your beloved city.
|Desert Island cupcakes, decorated with exotic flowers|
|Flowers for cupcakes and hair|
|We all need a hand|
|Follow the catelogues|
|Interesting and cheerful|
|Skate board girls of Kabul, moving and heartbreaking|
|An oasis of cupcakes, Prosecco, scents of jasmine and harmonious melodies|
|Sophie Dickens in wood and bronze, Together Forever|
|Here she is !!|
|What's Mother Teresa doing on that balcony? It's Art of course|
|Hold hands and stick together, it's better that way|
|All the fun of the fair|
|Warm, balmy nights in Venice, an everlasting love story|
|Sophie Dickens' book|
|The exhibition is on from May till November|