We will explore the expressive potential of the "Cabinet of Curiosity," or "Wunderkammer" in making our own "cabinet," inspired by visits to mysterious and wondrous sites in Central Italy.
In creating our own cabinet of curiosities, we will explore the way that this enigmatic format conjures an evocative sense of place, through the inspiration of visits to remarkable places in Central Italy. We will see enormous stone monsters from the 16th c., mummies, marble serpents devouring the souls of the damned, huge mosaic and glass sculptures - all the while collecting fragments of these experiences in order to make our own "memory - theatre"
Places of Wonder:
Italy is steeped in history and legends. Myth and religion animate the land with endless places of wonder. Mountaintops host mysterious castles, bridges recall lost loves and battles won, and woodedglades conceal ancient temples. Across the Italian landscape, churches and shrines honor many saints and miracles, and monuments celebrate the beautiful as well as the grotesque. Mannerist gardens with grottos and statuary still evoke a liminal place between reality and dreams.Throughout time, travelers have visited Italy to enrich their faith, seek inspiration, and marvel at the wealth of wonders created by a people of limitless curiosity.
Cabinets of Wonder
Marco Polo returned from China and India with exotic tales and objects. Amerigo Vespucci described strange and marvelous creatures across the seas. Leonardo dissected thehuman body and marveled at its complexity. Galileo pondered the heavens with telescopes and other instruments. Travelers, explorers, artists, and scientists fostered new knowledge that overwhelmed. To understand an ever-expanding world, Italy established the first European museums. These earliest museums began with collectors acquiring oddities – natural and man-made – to be displayed in cabinets later known as Wunder Kammer. Emerging in the 16th c., these "wonder-rooms" or "wonder cabinets,' were filled with preserved animals, coral, tusks, skeletons, minerals, as well as exotic, man-made objects - "a wide variety of objects and artifacts, with a particular leaning towards the rare, eclectic and esoteric." They "were regarded as a microcosm or theatre of the world - and a memory theatre."
During the week, we will be inspired by visits to the Sacro Bosco also known as the Park of the Monsters in Bomarzo, Etruscan tombs, the Teatrum Mundi, the Tarot Garden and more. We will also hunt for modestly -priced treasures at local shops and antique markets. At the studio in Monte Castello, participants will be encouraged to create their own Wunder Kammer by making a small shrine, box, or cabinet to contain venerated objects or display a personal collection of curiosities accumulated on our adventures or brought from home..
Throughout the workshop, participants will be housed in the remarkably well-preserved Umbrian hill town of Monte Castello di Vibio. Your workshop package is all-inclusive, providing welcome and departure services and airport transfer from the Rome Fiumicino, Leonardo Da Vinci Airport (FCO). Aboard our comfortable private bus, single occupancy accommodations with shared bath (a wide range of upgrades with private bath are available), 3 meals per day Monday-Thursday, Prosecco brunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday (no meals are served on Friday, our excursion day. Your workshop includes one excursion per week and many additional options are available on weekends for an additional fee. Of course, 24/7 access to facilities and 24/7 bi-lingual support are provided.