Having seen a photo of the salt pans in a Sicilian cook book it was a case of having to go there.
The image of a place beautiful, surreal and functional intrigued me. Arriving their was no disappointment, the place was suspended in a whitepink aqueous light, rimmed by the cobalt blue of the sea. The towers and windmills were like something out of D’Chirico or Fellini, there remoteness and symbolism enticing.
Though the nature and manner of the Salt mining appears quite harsh. - the wind the sun the sea all conspire to produce a beautiful simplicity that lay in these lagoons.
An age old use of a natural process - simple evaporation, a substance out of depletion.
Whilst travelling south I acquired
lots of images and ideas that filled my little shoe box. Finally at home in
my studio I found it almost overwhelming to try and encapsulate the whole
trip by reworking all the material.
So I concentrated on my original idea that was to go and ‘find the salt, in the west of Sicily’.
For what reason, maybe just a whim or more likely a reason to get there, the journey turning into part of the discovery process.
Whilst the process of this road trip is revealed in the small sketches and notes accumulated on the journey, these large works and their supporting pieces are the essence of what drove me to set the whole process in motion.
Getting there became something involved and enjoyable - driving my Morgan south was just that.
The works in the book and in the exhibition are a going from here to being there, a place at the end of a long drawn arc from The west of Cornwall to the west of Sicily - one salt edge to another.
Tom Rickman 07
red air pale I 26 x 29 cm oil on panel
red air pale II 26 x 29 cm oil on panel