I do not exactly know why but I happen to get much more culturally involved in London than I used to back home in Rome. I must admit my passion and interest in arts & culture has grown exponentially since moving to London, though I am quite ashamed of never really praising the cultural heritage my hometown has to offer. London’s cultural calendar may present more variety and of course there are more things going on than in Rome; still people come from all over the world to visit my country and my city and I never even managed to step into St. Peters or can not remember of taking a walk through the Roman Forum (at least not in the last 8 years). As if this was not enough I never went to visit neither the MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) nor the MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Arts) which both opened quite recently. I always end up giving priority to other things when being in Rome.
This changed since i’ve been living in London. I absolutely love the fact that there are so many cultural events going on in the city and that all of them not only enrich my knowledge but also can always somehow feed into my studies. Often there are even too many to have time to attend them all. New exhibitions, galleries, museums, movies etc are always a great source of inspiration for me. They are a way to escape from the chaotic city and let my mind flow in a new dimension where problems, anxieties and everyday thoughts seem to disappear. When I go to an exhibition or visit a gallery I find rest for my soul and my imagination drives me to the reality of what I am looking at. Is it a painting of the 19th century picturing a landscape with just a few characters or a fantasy movie or an exhibition of a contemporary artist, I become part of what I see. I feel myself laying on that grass in the painting or part of the designing process of the artist who forged that metal sculpture. I forget about my life and the world I am living in and become part of the word I am looking at. This occurs harmoniously and relaxedly with no need of concentration, instead it is much more a matter of letting myself go.
The first exhibition I’ve been to since I returned to London was Turner’s late paintings at Tate Britain. Sadly my English vocabulary is still too limited to accurately express what impact Turner’s painting had on me. I can only say I was overwhelmed by the beauty of his paintings, by the delicate color palette he used and by the elegance of his brushstrokes. I was astonished how especially some of the tiny watercolors and gouaches sometimes appear to be almost abstract but then have some very fine detail which give a meaning to the whole painting and you then clearly recognise what is depicted.
I deeply admire Turner’s and all other painters’ skills to paint so gracefully and the ability to depict reality and dream so faithfully, something I always wanted to be able to do.