One year ago I received an email from a small town in Molise asking if I would be interested in coming to paint. As it turns out, it was my grandfather’s hometown – Civitacampomarano (CB), which they didn’t realize when they’d written.
This past weekend I made my way to my grandfather’s town to paint a series of works, many based on vintage photographs from the town. Down to only 400 inhabitants, I decided to paint my work primarily on old doors, speaking about what was once there and what has not been abandoned, as many homes are now empty. For instance, we photographed Mario in front of a work inspired by him and his friends playing games together. Today there are only a handful of children left in the town. They attend school nearby, as Civita’s schools have long since closed. One of the children from town, Robertina, helped as my assistant, using her hands to play “hide and go seek” just as the wall does. I also met Zio Nicola, my grandfather’s next door neighbor, who offered us strawberries and helped identify some of the people in the photographs.
Thank you to Ylenia and Associazione Pro Loco for writing me last year and bringing me back to my roots. Thank you as well to Barbara, Luciana, and Mayor Paolo Manuele for the help and hospitality. I will be back soon…..
Photos by Jessica Stewart (www.romephotoblog.com)