#ancientcicilisations – traces of the past
Sicily is both the past and the future. Its history of continual immigration, invasion and assimilation provides a portal onto the future, while its past is so complicated that it is difficult to separate fact from fiction.
The largest of the Mediterranean islands, and strategically placed for both trade and military purposes, Sicily has been ruled over the centuries by, amongst others, the Vandals, the Romans, the Normans, the Byzantines, the Spanish, the Hapsburgs and the Bourbons. It was finally brought under the control of a unified Italy in 1860, although – typically – it was granted special status as an autonomous region in 1946.
Mediterranean islands have layer upon layer of history that mingles with the present, and for an artist this provides fertile territory. Nowhere more so than in Sicily where evidence of its troubled past is all around. In my paintings, I was attempting to capture this sense of ‘otherness’ – of the outsider, fighting for survival and independence.