The stillness from the silent fog that rolls in off the lagoon, stops time. The sun becomes a mere speck of light in the sky that filters through like a pinhole camera, illuminating a timeless wonder. How many footsteps have walked along these stone pathways that organically bob and weave throughout this great city that makes it home in a body of water






I had the great fortune of seeing Giotto's chapel – the walls bathed in a cerulean blue punctuated with gold that frames a story-board of events and ideas. The Chapel was built by the son of a banker and Giotto was commissioned to paint a message to God through the church that he hoped would allow his deceased father to enter heaven. It appears his father loaned money at a high interest rate and took advantage of people. That was indeed a sin of the highest order that needed redemption. What better way than through the eyes of Giotto!


Giotto started his chapel in 1300 and finished it in 1302. It boggles my mind that this could have all been done in just 2 years, but I have to remind myself that time in 1300 was much different than time is today.  Their time was pure, our time is cluttered and noisy.

At the Academia museum they had the freshly restored Heironymish Bosch paintings on display, all gently lit creating an even higher sensation of how sacred these tiny but powerful paintings are.  They speak of an imagined world that reverberate like a lucid dream. Strange creatures and humans interact in a landscape that are both recognizable and hallucinatory. Painted in the late 1400's they seemingly set the stage for what our world would eventually become. Did he see these paintings in a vision or perhaps dream them before putting brush to his wood panels?  Or maybe he intuited the future and needed to warn us?  They are profound works of art, that much I am sure of.


Then, the day of work came with a trip to Murano and the glass studio of Fabiano. I chose to use the color amethyst, maybe because it is a color that Giotto used in his painting, of his father's robe, maybe because it is beautiful and refined. It hovers between heaven and earth, with the faint purple-gray color capturing both. The shapes within my sculpture, "Return to Tomorrow", are informed by the movement of my hands in clay, which is how it all began.

Shane Guffogg 

Venice, Italy
December, 2016

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