With the arrival of increasingly stable and very sunny weather Bagni di Lucca’s summer season is now in full swing – there are four events this week-end alone, including a conference, an art-show and a traditional fair (quite apart from three weddings!)
One of the town’s features is the number of art exhibitions that are springing up around the place. I mentioned in a previous post how several shops which have closed down because of the continuing economic crisis have been converted into exhibition space with the help of volunteers and the owners’ permission. This can only be a good thing for space that would otherwise only have gone to rack and ruin and gives artists a chance to display their wares in a well-frequented spot. What a magnificent space Bagni di Lucca’s old mediaeval hospital (now subdivided into separate residences) offered to Ms Bastiani!
For such a small community there are a surprisingly number of painters and sculptors and so it’s quite easy to find something to one’s taste among the cornucopia of styles offered – everything from the severest abstract to the most photographic realism, from realism to symbolism, from retro to avant-garde styles…
This Saturday it was Kety Bastiani’s turn to show her style and creativity to the public. The artist, born in nearby Barga but now very much a local, presented around twenty of her paintings, some less and some more recent, in an exhibition entitled “Gli Angeli di Kety”. In addition, Kety showed how her artistic talents can be applied to clothes and accessories.
What I like about Kety’s art is her use of colour, her sophisticated naivety (only obtained through a thorough mastery of technique) and her unambiguous use of spiritual symbolism – maternity, the divine, redemption, heavenly dreams, and, above all, love. These paintings speak to everyone and, if they do not, then there must be something wrong with the beholder.
I was pleased to see my seasonal neighbour from Pisa, Prof. Baiocchi among the visitors as I hadn’t seen him for some time. Aldo, an indefatigable proponent of bringing art to the people (and who organises exhibitions in such unlikely places such as the check-out area in Pisa’s coop store at Cisanello) made an introductory speech on Kety’s production which was much appreciated.
Pride of place in the exhibition, however, was a letter from Pope Francis himself thanking Kety for the presentation of one of her paintings to him.
The test of a picture is whether you would like to hang on your living room wall. I know that there are several among Kety’s enchanting production which would find pride of place on mine.