“Climate change increases the threat in my country that the sea will flood the land. In Celleno it is the other way around: Climate change increases the threat that the land will flow into the sea…“
When I float above Celleno with Google Earth, I see a small light blue square to the right of
Celleno; the CAM swimming pool. Then I see the dark strands of trees along streams below
the steep slopes. They are not really visible under the leaves of the trees, but they are the
makers of this steep relief landscape.
At the moment I am very busy with the basins of streams that define the landscape. As an
artist I enjoy working with geographical data; how was the landscape formed and how does
the landscape shape the people? I am now figuring out where the brooks and streams run in
Celleno. How they used to flow and what the consequences of climate change can be for this
area. I made a drawing and a number of watercolours that I will show at Incontro 2020.
The water catchment area of the streams around Celleno during wet and dry periods.
In Italian, small brooks are called ditches, just like small canals are called ditches. It is nice to
see that the pattern of the ditches in Celleno and those in my region are quite different.
The two types of ditch patterns are shown in proportion
There are actually two brooks or streams that run around the village and then come together
and later flow into the Tiber together with other streams. I heard that there are also waterfalls
in the area. Many people have no idea where all those streams are, because they are often
In 2009, teja, my wife, and I went on a journey of discovery from CAM. We have walked a
lot in the scenic landscape. When I was in the house on that sloping side of the slope, I felt
like a captain on the CAM ship. The changing skies and lighting constantly change the
landscape so that, as it were, it passed us very slowly. Every morning the question was: What
can we see and what will happen today?
It is as if everyone is sitting on their own mountain, not so far apart – the sounds tell you that
you are not far apart – but when you come together, it is a long way to walk. This also applies
to the villages in the distance. They are actually all islets of tuff.
When I graduated from art academy in 1978, I received a travel grant to go to Italy. I lived in
Siena for 7 months and travelled by train along the entire coast of Italy. I noticed that there are
always parks between the sea and the village or town by the sea. I made maps of those parks.
Just like I later made maps of the dunes in Zeeland and now I make maps of streams. The
stream leads you through the landscape and eventually it becomes a kind of personality.
During Incontro 2020 I will probably show a film about my research into the catchment area
of the streams in Celleno, which started in 2009. As a visual artist I mainly portray my
research in images. I will also take some artists’ books that I made in Celleno with, among
other things, the shapes in which the sheep move on the slopes opposite CAM, the shadows
that are freakish with their olive trees, and the precipitation of my sweating by running up and
down the hills.
It is Work in Progress with many open questions. I am very happy to get in touch with people
who can tell me more about the river basin. I intend to request another AIR stay at CAM to do
further research, discover and physically experience the landscape. And I ask everyone who
knows a little more about it (names of streams and paths from the past and present,
connections between villages) to come to the exhibition. I am looking forward to meeting
Translation Hans Kal