Many years ago somebody told me he would depart to Stromboli on vacation. Stromboli is one of the volcanic islands belonging to the group of the Aeolian Islands in the North of Sicily.
It sounded like a dream to me. I had just watched Rossellini’s movie Stromboli, with a beautiful Ingrid Bergman, but above all the most archaic landscapes, inhabitants of the island and tuna fishers. That drastically black and white tuna fishing scene was burned into the head. The energy of the fish, the archaic and raw process of the fishing.
Many years later there was the exhibition of an artist in Cologne, Peter Gilles. Some of his very impressive works were painted on Stromboli. He painted a lot with his own blood, same here in these paintings. But it wasn’t only that. It was the combination with the archaic energy of the place that was captured in those images. Extraordinary.
Last year I finally made it there. Not Stromboli, ironically enough, which was the main goal initially. But to several other islands of the Aeolian Islands. And I found one very very special island: Alicudi. The smallest and most rural of them all, not a single street except one right in the village. Other than that: Little stonepaths up the hill, where pedestrians and donkeys can get up.
Here the fleeting watercolors of the exhibition were painted. In these watercolors is little to be seen, I admit. Very little. And they are repetitive. Very repetitive! But that “little” was everything to me. And the repetition is more of an obsession with the place, with “the little”. The little that is everything.