Sunday 10 September 2017

Holiday in Venice

Hev and I spent a few days in Venice, in exactly the same way we did last time I took Edinburgh off, in 2011. Then, as now, the pictures tell the story and I've busied myself collating them into a Blurb book before even trying to write a blog about it. In 2011 I did tons of sketches too, I must have got lazier since as I hardly drew a thing this time.

We go for the Biennale, and this year we made sure we got to the Giardini first, having left it till the last minute last time. We did the Giardini on Wednesday, with a few other pavilions before and after it, then did the Arsenale on Thursday, with more pavilions after it. It's an exhausting type of holiday, with lots of walking, but I'm pleased to report it gave us both the buzz we wanted. 

Seeing so much art in one go, so much that you become 'arted-out', fills the artistic batteries and makes us both feel inspired and creative. We take tons of photos. And the effect is such that, in our return, we've then gone into Bristol and I've carried on snapping away at stuff there with my tourist eyes open. Hell, Bristol's just as beautiful as Venice if you look at it properly. But Venice is pretty damn amazing.

A very good find was that gluten free (senza glutine) is easy to find at most restaurants, which is something Hev needs now, and we had few problems eating and drinking throughout our short stay.
Notes for a future Venice trip would be that we should try to arrive earlier in the day, and leave later on the last day too. We arrived Tuesday evening, getting to our apartment after 8pm, which is too late to get much out of the day (though we had a great first meal and a first lovely walk around). And we had to get the 9.07 Alilaguna boat back to the airport on Friday for a 1pm flight. A few more hours in town, even with our bags in tow, wouldn't have hurt.

I enjoyed extending that Venice feeling courtesy of the book I bought there, a Corto Maltese graphic novel from 1977, Fable of Venice. In Italian, it was fun using a mixture of Google Translate and common sense to read it on the plane home. It brings new meaning to the phrase "and then nothing happens", but what great backgrounds. (Dammit, I've only just learned there's a blooming Corto Maltese Museum in Venice! Next time.)

Like I said, the photos really say it all. (Here's a massive collection of 2011's photos). I struggle to remember the names of any of the hundreds of artists whose work we saw - though I made a special mental note of Piu from Macao, which still makes me smile. Sorry Piu. The Blurb book of photos runs to the 150 page mark. Here is just a tiny fraction.

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre do a tiny bit more Shakespeare in Halifax (Oct 26), Wolverhampton (Oct 28), Nottingham (Nov 4), and Goole (Nov 17) this autumn, returning with a brand new show in 2018. Stay tuned.

Kev F Sutherland, as well as writing and drawing for The Beano, Marvel, Doctor Who et al, runs Comic Art Masterclasses in schools, libraries and art centres - email for details, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. View the promo video

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