Dwellings Of The Myth | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

My trip in the South of Italy finished before I could visit the opening of “Dwellings Of The Myth” an historical personal contemporary art exhibition by the sculptor Girolamo Ciulla, a Sicilian artist transplanted in Tuscany. His art composed of travertine, bronze, iron, ceramic, wood and marble sculptures has been placed in the Sassi, caves of Matera, between rocks and ancient churches, in a mystical land, where earth’s vibrations are high and can be felt on the skin. This exhibition is a modern reinterpretation of classic divinities in the Mediterranean culture. He sees Demetra, a goddess of harvest with flowing hair and the Aurigae, the charioteer constellation as modern, poetic interpretation of today’s life.

I remember when going to Matera was almost an impossible task on impervious winding roads, especially in the winter with snow on the ground.  People who didn’t own a car, couldn’t even find a convenient train to reach the town. Usually, in the largest cities nearby, private car owners organized themselves as taxi services, collected people at a conventional corner, that they established as their stop and took people to Matera back and forth.

(Click on each photo to view it larger)

Today, Matera is a modern town, bustling with new ideas, energized by Hollywood producers who chose this site to film many famous productions, the European commission has declared the town the European cultural centre for 2019, and despite the rolling events and happenings, Matera so far has managed to preserve the ancient look of that town I used to know.


(Photo Above: Source Google Search)

(Photo: Girolamo Ciulla – http://www.sassilive.it)

Sculptor Girolamo Ciulla has dedicated a stone to Matera as a symbol of distance between his native town of Caltanissetta, Sicily and Matera. In his imagination distances do not keep people apart but make them closer. Girolamo Ciulla’s exhibition will be open until October 14, 2018 and I missed it. I am wondering, other than local Italians, how many travelers will visit the Sassi just to enjoy this exhibition.

Photos Source: https://www.arte.go.it)

In my mind, there are two kinds of people trotting the world: the tourist and the traveler.
The tourist roams aimlessly the streets of foreign countries, takes meaningless pictures and eats tourist food. The traveler wants to learn, enquires, listens to local sounds, appreciates local folklore, ventures in unusual places, tries out new things, writes notes, talks to people and eats local food.

Next year will be fun to be in Matera again, a lot will happen due to nomination of the town as cultural centre for 2019, and I want to be part of that fun. Ciao,
Valentina
https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2

Copyright © 2018 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

 

As a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, her native land, Valentina’s intention is to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. She wants to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism. Through stories of local customs, art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, she wants them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out her books on
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Living In The Womb Of The Earth | Valentina Cirasola | Author and Designer

Last time I took a group of American travelers to Italy we visited Matera, a medium size town in the region of Basilicata, in southern Italy. Matera is the largest town in this region and has been the capital town of Basilicata since 1806. The town lies in a small canyon, which has been eroded in the course of years by a small stream of water and that Canyon is called the Gravina. Matera is also known as the Subterranean City, due to its infamous homes created in the caves inside of the rocks of that canyon.

However, a few years ago, Hollywood and Italian Cinecitta’ chose Matera as the set for filming in 1964 of the The Gospel According to St Matthew  by Italian produce Pier Paolo Pasolini, and in 2004 for Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ.  Presently, another film is in production, the remake of historic 1959 blockbuster film Ben Hur, in which are now starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Huston.
In 1993 UNESCO declared Matera a World Heritage Site and last year it was nominated the European Capital of Culture for 2019. Due to all the new interests in the area, many activities and cultural initiatives have sprung up, like the World Book Fair of women writers from all over the world.

Matera Sassi – Photo Taccardi

What really makes this area so distinctively interesting is not the formal Italian architecture found in Italy, in fact the historic center of the town does not have examples of buildings or palazzi of particular value or refinement, the interests lies in the homes made for poor people inside of caves in the canyon (Gravina), or else known as Sassi.  Those homes are examples of spontaneous architecture created out of necessity, where poor people were destined to live. Not having any place to go they excavated their homes inside of the womb of the earth. Visiting these ancient cave homes, one feels enveloped, embraced and a closed relationship with the womb of the earth. The original homes are made with local tufa stone, which is a particular calcareous limestone, malleable that gives out a feeling of warmth when is left exposed and not covered with other materials on top. Tufa stone gives out a feeling of authenticity and natural as nature created. It is not uncommon to find rock fossils of seashells in the tufa stones, which makes these homes so authentic.

Matera – Sassi – Photo Taccardi

As I said, poor people lived there, but during the ’60s and ‘70s the government offered them low-income housing arrangement with running water and electricity and little by little they vacated the caves for a better and more modern living in the town. Today, after Hollywood filming and Unesco recognition as World Heritage, local people are returning to cave living, making some big improvements with modern amenities. Now we see elegant hotels and restaurants being propped in there that are maintaining the characteristic of the caves.

If I were the designer remaking these cave homes, I would work with a warm palette that agrees with the warm tones of the tufa stone, using oxidized or etched copper as fixtures to recreate the patina of a corroding water stream. I would use opaque resins with oxides coating, type of Venetian style and for the floor, I would use the typical street pavement of the area called chianche, very beautiful stones or handmade ancient terracotta without cooked waked on top. For the furniture, I would choose the shabby chic style. Although in general I do not much like it, especially when it is very distressed, I believe it would be the most compatible with the type of environments we are confronted in the “Sassi”.

The air in the “SAssi” area is mystical, it is impossible not to feel a strong attraction and bewitched by the surroundings. The energy that comes up from the earth is truly magical, especially at night. Some of the visitors during my last trip to the area suggested that the Italian government should build a theatre in the canyon for aspiring actors from all over the world where they can practice their theatre plays. The mystical atmosphere is already there, they need to create the rest. Ciao,
Valentina
https://valentinaexpressions.com/trips-to-puglia-2/

Val Admiring World

Copyright © 2015 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved


As a writer and cultural promoter of Puglia, my native land, it is my intention to let readers feel and experience a new ”wheel of emotions”. I want to encourage them to visit areas of Italy not beaten by massive tourism.  Through stories of art, architecture, fashion, food-wines, shopping, I want them to create their special adventures and live it up in Puglia! Check out my books on
Amazon: http://goo.gl/xUZfk0
Barnes&Nobles: http://goo.gl/q7dQ3w

Graffiti Lux Art & More

Luxuriating in the Arts

It's all about Inspiration

Inspiration is our vision as it is the key to success. We assist in Life Improvement, Motivation, Personal Development, SEO, Marketing Tips and Blogging

Electric Eclectic's Blog

All Things Bookish and more...

Before Sundown

remember what made you smile

James J. Cudney

Best Selling Author of Family Drama & Mystery Fiction

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

The Write Stuff

"Writers Helping Writers" with Marcia Meara & Friends

Electric Press

Literary Insights magazine

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

Read. Write. Love. 💕💕💕

Banter Republic

It's just banter

No Facilities

Random thoughts, life lessons, hopes and dreams

Watching the Daisies

Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow

Stevie Turner

Realist, writer, reader and reviewer, and rocker.

This Is My Truth Now

Author, Inspirational Blogger, Book Reviewer & Promoter (James J. Cudney)

Warning:Curves Ahead

reasonably photogenic and relatively stylish

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Echoes of Life, Love and Laughter

London Life With Liz

A lifestyle blog with a little bit of everything.

Inspired Motivation

Get your daily motivation fix right here!

Janaline's world journey

My sometimes Strange, but usually Wonderful Experiences and Adventures as I Travel through this amazing World we live in.

From my guardaviñas

Sharing ideas. Photos, travels, music, History, stories, feelings...

Dancer Attitude

"Shoot for the top"

Modern Tropical

Art + Decor by Kristian Gallagher

Loleta Abi Romance Author

Love, Family, and the Journey Home

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

Jean's Writing

Jean M. Cogdell, Author-Writing something worth reading, one word at a time in easy to swallow bite size portions.

valentina design universe

Entertainment, TV Shows, Design Shows, Public TV,

%d bloggers like this: