Six Isle of Wight artists, who responded to an invitation via isleofwightarts.com, travelled to Sardinia as guests of the Municipality of Padru, the “youngest” Municipality of Sardinia which was established in 1996.
They took part in the Xl edition of the ‘International Biennial of Painting “Isole” (Islands)’ a cultural initiative to twin with other European islands. Previously artists from Corsica, Malta, Ireland, Sicily, Crete, the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands have attended the event but this year it was the turn of the Isle of Wight.
After three intensive days of painting, in competition with ten Sardinian artists, the jury of excellence chaired by the Director, Gaetano Fanelli of the ‘Brera Academy’ in Milan, awarded Cowes artist, Brian Marriott, second overall prize just behind the winner Turi Spada, one of Sardinia’s most celebrated artists.
Along with Brian, the other island artists to take part were Beverley Snudden, David King, Guy Eades, Rosemary Welch and Claire Sells.
They were extremely fortunate that Beverley speaks Italian and could converse and translate to dignitaries, their host Mayor Antonio Satta and the Sardinian artists and she was a great ‘Ambassador’ for the Isle of Wight.
“We have been overwhelmed by the hospitality and financial commitment to their celebration of being an island and we were totally humbled by the whole experience. It was a highly successful creative experience. It was interesting to note that they chose the Isle of Wight as their guests, because of its international recognition for festivals of music”
Addressing an audience of over 500, the Mayor, welcomed the island artists and introduced ‘Dik Dik’, one of Italy’s most famous bands who performed their renowned ‘L’isola di Wight’ which since the 1970’s has sold over 20 million records.
At the finale of the painting awards a presentation by 700 Sardinians, from 50 different villages, in their own traditional regional costumes, dating back many generations took place.
Besides the painting and exhibition there was an intense programme for the week of other important events attended by thousands of visitors and tourists from all over the world, in addition to the citizens of Padru.
Brian Marriott commented:
“As a regulation, every artist paints within the locality, respecting two fundamental rules: painting outdoors and portraying an aspect of the cultural, social, historical and landscape life of the village. The paintings will be donated to the Municipality of Padru, in order to create a gallery, which already boasts hundreds of paintings.
I must admit however, that puts a lot of pressure on an artist to deliver an effective picture in a short period of time. I was therefore honoured to be placed amongst such gifted artists in this international competition, chosen by a qualified and expressly appointed jury. I have since been advised that the winning paintings have all the necessary requirements to be included in the circuit of events of EXPO 2015 in Milan later this month.”
The whole event was widely promoted on TV, press and on the website www.comune.padru.ss.it.
Report and photograph thanks to Alan and Suzanne Whitewood
Photographed: Piera Murgia, Cultural Instructor and librarian with Brian Marriott