My search for the “wild strawberries” place. 

When I was working for Saab I was very impressed by the Swedish culture: the minimalist style and design, the unspoiled nature, the magical play of light, the spell of water with its fjords that create a wonderful vision of musical stillness. 

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Every summer I left for the islands of the Stockholm archipelago and one day I decided to go to Faro, to discover the secret place of Ingmar Bergman, a director who has always fascinated me for his works of profound psychological introspection. 

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An island where I loved to get lost in order to find those parts of me that I had buried in the most hidden corner of my heart.

I remember the long walks on the beach of Norsta Aura, the saltiness in my hair and the wind that shook my thoughts. 

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Each of us has its own “wild strawberry” place, real or imaginary, in which to take refuge to stop time, meditate and find some inner peace. 

My dear painter friend Angelo Mosca found this place in Castel di Ieri, a very small village of 296 inhabitants in Sirente, Abruzzo. 

This is where I want to take you this FRAday.

I thought I was only invited to an exhibition …

Instead, I found myself catapulted into another world, in a place of artistic and inner research where Angelo decided to put his roots and to cultivate his idea of ​​art.

When I went to visit him in September, to my great surprise, I discovered that he too, like me, had been to the island of Faro to follow the “spiritual” journey made by the director.

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But what does Castel di Ieri have to do with Faro? 

He answered me in this video interview I made during the week end we spent together (Italian).

“Faro is to Bergman as Castel di Ieri is to Mosca” Angelo tells me and I understand perfectly what he means: Castel di Ieri is a cute village hidden in the Abruzzo mountains, immersed in the silence of nature, far away from sources of distraction and from that deafening noise that often does not allow us to hear the sound of our thoughts.

It is a place of strong inspiration where Angelo not only paints, but also studies, does his own research and explores other forms of art, such as engraving. 

In this small and magical place of strawberries he has settled his thoughts which he has condensed into an exhibition still in progress called “Sentieri Incisi”, set up in the medieval tower of the village.

But his vision goes further: his desire is to revive this wonderful village, offering residences to artists and friends, organizing exhibitions to attract art lovers and to give new life to the area.

A weekend of “artistic pilgrimage“.

I spent a weekend full of surprises with Angelo and made unexpected encounters. 

Our pilgrimage began by discovering his new studio in Castel di Ieri. 

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The second stop was his family home in Chieti, where I had been many years ago and which I rediscovered and experienced with completely different eyes.

Finally, our extraordinary artistic full-immersion ended in Angelo’s historical studio in Ortona which currently hosts a very interesting collective exhibition, entitled EXODUS.

In this journey of research and introspection between one place and another, I realized how important it is for an artist to have his own refuge where he can return to rediscover his origins, dust off his memories and welcome old and new friends. 

This is Angelo’s family home in Chieti: a place of memory inhabited by stories, affections, familiar objects, artworks collected over time and many incredible design objects.

This is where we decided to stop before setting off again.

A whole night sitting on vintage armchairs, chatting in front of a large painting he made during his London period, listening to music, drinking Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, smoking Cuban cigars and giving space to all our thoughts.

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I found myself in a true extended family

After a very long night populated with images, memories and reflections on life, we headed towards the sea, and more precisely to Ortona, where Angelo has his historical studio.

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To reach it we entered a small street in the center.

The studio is inside a characteristic three-storey apartment completely renovated, in which an exhibition called EXODUS is underway, with as many as 75 works on display, which Angelo presents to me while we visit the studio.

If you are interested, you can take the amateur video tour of the exhibition I have prepared for you by clicking this link.

This art exhibition organized by Angelo is not a simple collective exhibition, but the sharing of a wider project, an invitation to all the artists with whom he has matured artistic relationships and friendship over the years, to embark on a new journey together.

As the art historian and artist Alberto Mugnaini writes:

Our current meeting in Angelo Mosca’s studio in Ortona is the last stage of an ongoing journey and at the same time a reflection on the modalities, characteristics and emotional drives that distinguish it.

The full text of Alberto Mugnaini is commented in this video.

Angelo guides me throughout the exhibition, confirming that the artistic appeal has been a great success: many young artists, in fact, continue to send their works, bringing their stories, lives and research to a new homeland that welcomes them to open your arms as you do in a large extended family.

Here you will find the second part of the exhibition virtual tour video made by Angelo.

This weekend we travel together in art.

From Castel di Ieri to Chieti to Ortona, I would like to share with you my little exodus accomplished by having a very special travel companion next to me, who opened my eyes and showed me a territory rich in artistic ferment.

Because as Mugnaini states, quoting the French philosopher Blanchot, “It is in front of the other, in amazement, in infinity, in crisis, that the true essence of a journey lies.”

If you want to walk with me in this new experience, you can visit my Facebook and Instagram channels where I uploaded my photos and videos.

Get back on the journey with Art! Today is FRAday.