I still feel my hand in his hand, I was very young, maybe 10 or 11 years old. It must have been July or August. That moonless, cloudless summer night, a fresh sea breeze was blowing in my face, the aroma of island lavender pungent in the air as we walked down the short dirt path through the small pine forest that led to the small pier where a couple of fishing boats docked.
Losinj, in the northern Adriatic Ocean, was still without electricity and we were staying at the house of friends of my parents. We walked along the pier until the end and sat down – our feet dangling but not touching the water.
Then Dad told me to look up to the sky. Just the memory of it gives me shivers. It was so, so black – almost shiny and within that intense blackness there were so many stars. My father explained to me the firmament, the constellations – Vega, Orion, The Big Dipper, The Little Dipper, Sirius, Pleiades., Polaris, Arcturus....and ruling that array of stars....the majestic arch of the Milky Way. I don't know how long we sat there. I fell in love with the cosmos. A love affair that continues to this day. I wish my math proficiency had been significant because I would have definitely embraced astrophysics for my professional life. It was not meant to be. I am still an aspiring amateur scholar of all things 'space', subscribed to Scientific American. My biggest personal achievement related to astrophysics is that I actually met Carl Sagan as his personal interpreter during an international summit in Mexico.
My creative work is riddled and intimately intertwined with the universe – both through colours and words, there is no end to this personal fascination. In my canvases I seek to give visual life to that feeling -of what can't be described -when we see the wonders of the cosmos. It is vast but intimate; infinite and yet so familiar. Through my own craft, experiment and technique I create textures and forms that are an interpretation of diverse objects in space. The countless sand particles in my canvas produce a visual approach to the transparency in space and the refraction of light in gas and dust clouds.
Even so many years later I still think about that experience with my Dad. He has been gone for a long time, but I will be forever grateful to him for showing me so many fundamental things in nature, history, human intellect, art and thus motivating me to project those feelings and visions into canvas and stories. Wish you were here Tata!