Closed Church Gate, Ibla, Sicily

Closed Church Gate, Ibla, Sicily

Acrylic on canvas,

28 x 20 inches

2020

I discovered Ibla in Sicily by chance.  I was driving and got lost.  I reached the town of Ibla and discovered it is a World Heritage Site.  I finished staying there for a while exploring the rich architectural heritage of this town.  I remember walking in narrow winding streets, until I came next to a big iron gate in front of a church in a small square.  I decided to enter and see the church, but I was greeted by an old priest who started waving his hands in the air and speaking to me in a dialect I could not understand. 

 

It was clear that he did not want me there, but I ignored him and went in just the same.   He was short and not threatening at all. I pretended that I did not understand that he was talking to me. After seeing the artworks in the church, he still came chasing after me.  He wanted to close the church, so this painting depicts the closed iron gate at the foot of the entrance steps of this church. 

 

This gate is a reminder of this episode, however the true reason for painting it is because of the beautiful patterns it creates, especially against the light and the series of shadows cast on the ground.  The steps in a semi-circular and horizontal fashion, contrasted by the vertical iron rods of the gate, create an infinite array of shapes.  This aspect thrilled me.  The painting is essentially realistic and faithful to what I saw, but it is at the same time an invitation to experience an infinite play of lines and shapes that create a rich range of abstract patterns.  I like this play of shapes.  The painting looks very intricate, but it actually took me only two days of hard work to complete.

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