[Video] Why the Arts (should) matter – A Christmas wish

[Photo by Joseph Phillips from Pexels]

Hello wanderers!

Christmas is fast approaching and I’ve created a new video for you! As you might have heard, London is back into lockdown and this time it’s a very strict one (Tier 4), but I’m happy I had the chance to wander around the city when things where still not as bad as now, and managed to shoot some footage of the lovely Xmas lights that this city offers. But in my new video you will not only see Xmas lights. You will also see beautiful West End theatres with their doors painfully shut. Let me explain why.

In my previous video, “8 lessons I’ve learned in 2020”, I’ve narrowed down to 8 the hundreds things this tough year taught me, trying to mention those who where pretty much relatable for everyone. But there’s another important lesson, that as an artist myself I could not let slip unmentioned. The treatment that my category received from the UK Government since the pandemic started, and various other statements from politicians, institutions and media made me realise that, as artists and creatives, we still have a big stigma to fight: the stigma of being NON-ESSENTIAL. Of not being considered real workers. Just people that play around, having a lot of fun. Some kind of eternal Peter Pans that never wanted to grow up and find “a real job”. And as someone who spent his adolescence/young years nurturing his passion for the Arts, studying and educating myself, working hard to pay my studies and invest in my projects, this is unacceptable.

How does this stigma translated into political actions? Well, from the start of the Covid emergency here in the UK we saw a huge disparity between the help and the criteria set up for salaried workers and for self-employed workers. Many self-employed, artists and theatre workers have fallen into the cracks of a system that didn’t take into consideration a lot of aspects of an artist’s “work contract”, and they got no support. When things where finally reopening, it was perfectly acceptable to have a shopping mall packed of people, or an airplane full with no distancing, but theatres were imposed such strict requirements that many of them couldn’t find convenient reopening at all. The treatre industry was helped with a lump sum of money only after petitions and campaigns from thousands of workers who had lost their jobs. But it was a help to theatres, not a help to the single workers. Because the Government never lose the occasion to remark how they think that “the artists are not viable”, that we “should retrain and find another job”. We have also been called “low-skilled”. What does it even mean? Who decides that a person who works in retail or enters data on a computer is more “skilled” than someone who can sight-read a musical score, play an instrument, write a script?

All this made me reflect about the value and the importance of the Arts, and probably never as much as now I feel passionate about it. As a starting point for the creation of my video I’ve asked my Instagram followers “How did the Arts help you in life?”, and the replies I got were incredible. “They gave me confidence and purpose”, “they helped me express what I couldn’t handle otherwise”, “they made me find myself and helped me show the best part of me”, just to mention a few.

My education in the Arts allowed me to come out of the shell of a shy and introvert young man, it gave me a tool to express myself with confidence, it comforted me and nourished my soul. My theatrical training taught me to trust people and work in a team, it taught me discipline and curiosity, it fuelled me with a hunger for culture and self-improvement, it instigated me to think outside the box and not be scared of being different.

How can the Arts be considered something “superfluous” in a society? Try for a second to think of how life would be without Arts and creativity. No music, no movies, no theatre, no books, poetry. No photography, visuals, graphic designs.

This video is a letter to Santa Claus, but it’s mainly a heartfelt declaration of love to the Arts and Culture and a sincere wish for a world that recognises the value that they bring to the society.

I hope you enjoy it, and if you do, please like/comment/share/subscribe 🙂 See you soon and have a very Happy Christmas!!!

[Video] Watch my short movie “MOVING (to, through,on)”

This video is called “MOVING (TO, THROUGH, ON)”.

Some time ago I started collecting footage of me during some of my trips abroad, in which I was using all kinds of transportation (buses, taxis, tuk-tuks, boats…) because originally I wanted to create a video about the concept of ‘moving’.

When Covid-19 emergency started no one could predict that travelling would be no more a viable opportunity for months and months. All of a sudden the freedom to explore the world stopped.

Now that things are slowly reopening but we are still far from having a total freedom of movement, I decided to take that original idea and give it a new meaning, transforming it into a video that wants to reflect the times we have lived and we are still living. And I wanted to dedicate this video to all the travellers, the wanderers at heart, the free spirits, the seafarers, the itchy feet. While we wait to be able to travel freely once again, and write new exciting travel stories.

Hope you like it, and if you do, feel free to share it and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

See you all soon!

“Creative Journaling for Mindfulness” – The full-length workshop in English

Hello everyone!

I am happy to announce that my workshop “Creative journaling for mindfulness” is finally available in English for purchase in streaming!

What is it?

It’s a 37-minute video-workshop that combines the creative process and the use of artistic techniques such as collage and scrapbooking with the concept of writing a personal diary, highlighting the benefits that these activities together can give to our mental well-being.

In an era dominated by the digital, when moments and memories are entrusted to social media, to the point that they become less and less concrete and tangible, this workshop will bring you back to the concept of recording thoughts and moments on a physical diary. And you will do it creatively, learning and applying artistic techniques that will make your diary a real and personal work of art. But that’s not all. You will learn to savour the creative moment and to rediscover a connection with the present moment. I will suggest exercises and ways to use your creative diary to improve your mental health, if for example you suffer from anxiety or if your mind struggles to find concentration or motivation.

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The video-workshop is divided into three sections:

1) Materials and Glossary, with tips and tutorials to create a collection of items to use for your creations;
2) The Creative Zone, where we will see in detail how to compose your creative diary;
3) Creative Diary and Mindfulness: how to use the diary for your mental well-being.

Total duration: 37 min.

How can I purchase it?

You can now benefit of the 50% Winter promotion and buy the workshop for only 10 £ instead of 20! You just need to send an email of request to carlopavan79@gmail.com . I will reply with all the details for your payment via Paypal or online banking, following which you will receive the exclusive link to the full workshop video, that you can stream as many times as you want 🙂

“Creative journaling for mindfulness” is waiting for you! Buy it now and recommend it to your friends!

Thank you!

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“Tecniche di diario creativo e mindfulness” – Il workshop completo in Italiano

Ciao a tutti!

Sono felice di annunciarvi che il mio workshop “Tecniche di diario creativo e mindfulness” è finalmente disponibile in lingua italiana per l’acquisto in streaming!

Cos’è?

E’ un video-corso di 37 minuti che combina il processo creativo e l’uso di tecniche artistiche come il collage e lo scrapbooking con il concetto di scrivere un diario personale, evidenziando i benefici che queste due attività associate possono dare al nostro benessere mentale.

In un’epoca dominata dal digitale, in cui momenti e ricordi vengono affidati ai social media fino a non sembrarci più concreti e tangibili, questo workshop vi riporterà al concetto di registrare pensieri e momenti su un diario fisico, e lo farete creativamente, imparando e applicando tecniche artistiche che renderanno l’oggetto-diario una vera e personale opera d’arte. Ma non solo. Impareremo ad assaporare il momento creativo e a ritrovare una connessione con il momento presente. Vi suggerirò esercizi e modalità per utilizzare il vostro diario creativo per migliorare il vostro benessere mentale, se per esempio soffrite di ansia o se la vostra mente fatica a trovare concentrazione o motivazione.

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Il video-workshop e’ diviso in tre sezioni:

1) Materiali e Glossario, con suggerimenti e tutorial per realizzare una collezione di elementi da usare per le vostre creazioni;

2) La Zona Creativa, in cui vedremo in dettaglio come comporre il vostro diario creativo;

3) Diario Creativo e Mindfulness: come utilizzare il diario per il nostro benessere mentale.

Durata totale: 37 min.

Come posso acquistarlo?

Al momento potete beneficiare della Promozione Invernale 50% Off, e acquistare il workshop in streaming a metà prezzo, a soli 10 euro invece di 20! Per farlo vi basta inviare una email di interesse a carlopavan79@gmail.com . Vi risponderò spiegandovi come effettuare il pagamento tramite PayPal o online banking, al seguito del quale riceverete il link esclusivo al video completo del workshop, che potrete guardare in streaming quante volte volete 🙂

“Tecniche di diario creativo e mindfulness” vi aspetta! Acquistatelo ora e suggeritelo ai vostri amici!

Grazie!

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[Video] My Dublin Days – What to see, to do, to look for in Dublin!

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Hello Wanderers!

I’ve just returned after my four-day city break to Dublin (actually to Dundalk first and then Dublin)! My first time ever in Ireland, which means I can add it to my list of countries visited so far, reaching the count of 39 (applause, epic Oprah music, confetti shower, hand waves with teary eyes).

Dublin, a capital that is so full of character and so human-friendly, with a pace of life distant light years from rat-racey London. A city that maintains a village feel, with its buildings that don’t aim to scrape the sky, its evergreen pub culture, its coloured doors. Oh those lovely doors! History says it was a way for the residents to put their personal flair to the strictly structured Georgian constructions; legend wants that it was an easy trick to be able to find their house when drunk, on the way back from the pub.

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Immersed in tradition, but at the same time a city that is undergoing a huge development, especially in the zone around the Grand Canal Docks: after a long walk surrounded by red brick houses and swans gliding peacefully on the waters we reach an area that reflects (still in its own particular way) the structure of London docklands, with modern buildings of multinational companies and mirror-windowed offices, flown over by flocks of seagulls. The feeling is that, after the surely risky and clumsily conducted Brexit manoeuvre, many important international companies are now transferring their operational headquarters from the UK to Ireland, setting up the country to a huge renaissance in terms of jobs and economic opportunities.

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I want to thank my wonderful locally based friends Herachya and Gianluca, that made me feel at home and made my Irish days memorable, helping me discover the best of places, food and things to do. So, would you guys know what I saw and did in Dublin and what I recommend? Cool, first of all…

Trinity College

You really shouldn’t miss this. The University’s green and cobbled internal yard is luxurious (especially on a sunny morning, and I was so lucky with the weather on those days, can’t believe it!) and you can breathe in the magnificence of the elegant buildings where Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett have studied. The College’s Library treasures original medieval gospel manuscripts (go and see the exhibition about the Book of Kells! Entrance is 13 euro, but you can see the incredibly detailed creation process of the book, from the stretch of calfskin to create the vellum, to the decorating work), and one of the most impressive book chambers worldwide: it’s called The Long Room (long indeed: 65 metres) and it houses two hundred thousands original books. You enter the room and you smell history. And the jawdropping arched ceiling, raised in 1860, will allow you to take stunning pictures!

The Spire

I’ve asked my friend Gianluca “where shall we meet?”, and he promptly replied “where all the people in Dublin meet: at the Spire!”. In O’Connell Street it’s impossible to miss this huge stainless steel monument. 120 metres high, like a gigantic whale tooth that rises to the sky (not really matching the style of the surrounding buildings, to be honest, but it’s an interesting contrast), the Spire replaced Nelson’s Pillar, destroyed by an IRA bombing in 1966. The monument illuminates the night sky in Dublin… and its tip swings when the wind is strong, sometimes up to 1,50 metres! (It’s perfectly safe, I just wanted to scare you a bit). Oh, don’t even bother trying to take a full picture of it, if not from a ridiculous distance (and even at that point, it will just look like a random lamp post).

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Temple Bar

Temple Bar is the area on the south bank of the river where the most of Dublin’s artistic and cultural life takes place: live music, theatre, cinema and multimedia institutes and events, and a vibrant night life. Hallmark of this gorgeous area is of course The Temple Bar Pub , another to-go place in Dublin if you really want to get the feeling of the city.

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Statues of Dublin

Dublin is literally full to the brim of statues! It could be a nice game to play, walking around with friends and trying to spot them first. The James Joyce statue seems to stare at the Spire with a skeptical face, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find Oscar Wilde chilling on a rock in Merrion Square. Fun fact: Dubliners love to give quirky (and sexual) nicknames to statues and monuments, so that the statue of Molly Malone (heroine of a traditional Irish song) is often called “the Tart with the Cart”, James Joyce is addressed as “the Prick with the Stick” and the huge Spire column is commonly known as “the Pole in the Hole”, “the Stiffy at the Liffey” or even “the Erection at the Intersection”.

The National Gallery

What a gem! I highly recommend to spend a couple of hours admiring this amazing collection of the finest artworks by artists such as Perugino, Rembrandt, Degas, Monet, and of course some real Irish masterpieces by Jack B. Yeats. I was mesmerised by the colour tones of two of the big rooms (one red, one teal), and how this precious gallery manages to merge a stunningly modern architecture and overall concept with timeless art from the past. Absolutely beautiful and FREE ENTRY (subscriptions are of course welcome).

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Embrace the pub culture to the fullest

Basically all the blogs and guidebooks list a visit to the Guinness Storehouse as a must-do thing in Dublin. Well, sure, if you are interested in seeing the whole process of preparation of this iconic beer it might be a nice experience, but tickets are quite pricey (around 18 euro) and it would take a chunk of your time in the city that you might prefer to use for other activities on a budget. What I suggest you is to scrap the Guinness Storehouse, and instead have your dinner meals at pubs that brew their own selection of beers: don’t miss for example the pubs of Galway Bay Brewery Company , that offer a delicious chocolate stout and vibrant red ales, along with finger licking pub food. If you have the chance (and if you feel young and reckless) sign up for a pub crawl. Pubs tell you a lot about the spirit of this city, the big heart of the people who live in it and the traditions of the whole country.

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And a few more tips:

  • Stroll in St. Stephen’s Park – it’s a gorgeous green space, and if you’re lucky with the weather it would be one of the most pleasant moments of your holiday.
  • Churches and Cathedrals – they are fantastic, I wish I had more time to visit all of them properly…
  • Enter Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre – the interiors of this mall look like a giant liberty style train station. Very Instagrammable.
  • Support local art – I already mentioned live music and theatre events, but if you want to bring home some exclusive pieces of Irish art & design I suggest you to visit the Jam Art Factory in Dublin zone 2, where you find fine art prints and decorative objects for a very affordable price!
  • Go for one-day getaways: Dublin is the perfect starting point to go and explore other marvellous areas in Ireland, reachable by train in one hour or so. The stunning Cliffs of Moher, Connemara and Galway City, Glendalough, Newgrange… If you have more than three days to spend in Dublin you might consider a day for one of these trips, you’ll be rewarded.

And this is all for now, but I can’t leave you without a little video-diary I’ve prepared for you while walking up and down the city. I’ve chosen to accompany the images with the voice of the extraordinary Dolores O’Riordan, Irish icon and one of the biggest idols of my adolescence, with a song that would give me the same shivers it gave me when I was 15, even if I listened to it thirty years from now.

Enjoy and… visit Dublin!

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[Video] Lumiere London 2018: second edition for this exciting light-art festival!

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Hello Wanderers!

A new year has started and I’ve been searching for ways to try and beat the winter blues (I’m a summer child and I haven’t decided to live in the sunniest city in the world, let’s say it), until I discovered that Lumiere London, the festival of art installations where the creative use of light is the key element, was due to return for a thrilling second edition!

For four nights (18-21 January), artists from all over the world have reimagined London’s architecture and streets, creating an open-air modern art gallery. I’ve defied the glacial temperatures (believe me, my forehead was frozen and I couldn’t raise my eyebrows anymore at some point, like after a botox procedure done in a butcher’s stockroom in Pattaya), and I’ve put together a little three-minute video that collects some of the highlights of this year’s edition!

I did my best to give you an overview of all the six areas where the event took place, but unfortunately I couldn’t explore the King’s Cross locations properly, due to shortage of time and hallucinations of polar bears dancing on pink strawberry jelly, product of the hypothermia I was going through. I hope you forgive me.

So, here’s the video, sit back and enjoy!

 

Photodiary of a weekend in Bath

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Some weeks ago I had the pleasure to spend a lovely weekend (despite the weather, it basically rained the whole freaking time) with friends in Bath, in the countryside region of Somerset (UK). It’s the perfect weekend getaway from London! Easily reachable via train (but we went by car, which is cheaper and gives you more freedom of course), Bath is famous for its natural hot springs and it still preserves a bath system built by the Romans in the 2nd Century! And every thing that the city has to offer is within walking distance from the station and from the main street. This is a photo-diary of those two days, enjoy and… go visit Bath!

The river Avon, which crosses the city and has a walkable promenade.

Parade Gardens, with a beautiful flower sculpture dedicated to the novelist Jane Austen, who spent in Bath five important years of her life and career. At 40 Gay Street you can even visit the Jane Austen Centre, a picturesque permanent exhibition where you can go back in time to the beginning of the 19th Century.

IMG_20170725_075549_831If you like whiskey you can’t miss this place called The Hideout, a stone-walled bar for real connoisseurs, with a warm and friendly atmosphere!

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Bath Abbey and the Pump Room, where you can have a good afternoon tea right next the Roman Baths.

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The experience of the Roman Baths is a must-do, especially in the evening when the torch lights enhance the magic of that place. The path describes very well the everyday life of the Romans, and you can see perfectly preserved objects and architectural structures. A company of actors recreate scenes from the Roman age and accompany the tourists on their walk.

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We stopped at Boston Tea Party for cakes, coffee and herbal tea, and it was very nice!

More views of the city, walking towards The Circus. The umbrellas installation is located just inside Southgate Shopping Center (Southgate St, Bath BA1 1AQ).

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Dinner time! Probably because of the Roman origin, Bath is full of Italian restaurants 😀 We chose Nonna’s Cucina Italiana, very stylish place and delicious food! I had Insalata di Mare (seafood salad) as starter, and a rich mushroom risotto, all accompanied by an Apulian wine called Primitivo. Highly recommended if you fancy an Italian dinner!

The morning after we had a good breakfast at Rosarios, and then we visited the Victoria Art Gallery . We crossed Pulteney Bridge and we went exploring the other side.

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We stumbled upon a rugby field! I thought it was a croquet field. I’ve never been too good at sports.

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What a great surprise was The Holburne Museum! Full of art and antiques, with a gorgeous park attached. We had a nice wander through the building and enjoyed the green surroundings… and we got caught in the rain again!

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I definitely want to visit Bath again soon. Probably in springtime, hoping to find a drier weather 🙂 On my bucket list for next Bath weekend:

  • Experience the open-air rooftop pool at Thermae Bath Spa
  • Visit Alexandra Park for more spectacular views
  • Have a traditional full afternoon tea

and….

…visit Stonehenge on the way back to London (this time it wasn’t possible due to limited time)!

Have you been in Bath? What are your favourite spots? And what do you suggest for my next trip?

 

Ta-dah! The jar of sands!

I’ll start saying that I’m so proud of this project it makes me want to lock myself home, deactivate all my social media, turn off the phone and spend the rest of my life sitting on the floor and staring at it until I starve to death.

I’m joking.

During my eight month travelling on board Silver Cloud I’ve collected samples of sand from beaches and deserts around Europe, Africa and Asia with the idea, once back home, of layering them in a jar and see what could come out of it. Sand is such a fascinating and artistic matter, it comes in an infinity of colours and shades and once layered it can reveal subtle patterns and nuances you would never notice in normal circumstances.

Soon my idea of the “jar” seemed a little restrictive because after four months I had already collected 12 different samples… Towards the end of my contract on board I’ve made a selection, letting go the less interesting ones colour-wise and texture-wise. When the moment to fly home arrived I showed up at Athens airport with more than two kilograms and a half of sand wrapped in transparent, labelled plastic bundles, in my hand luggage. Of course I got stopped and questioned at border control, the agent examinated the whitest packages and looked at me with a “Really?” face, making me feel like the creepy weirdo that I probably am.

Once back home I started to build up my project: I bought a tall glass container from Muji, I’ve organized the samples alternating colours and textures and started pouring the sands, levelling them carefully and removing pebbles and other bits to make the layers look as smooth and homogenic as possible (see pictures below). Once finished I cut labels from a black chalkboard tape from Paperchase and wrote the places of collection for every layer. The final result turned out to be even better than I had envisioned it! There is still space on the top and I want to add a final layer of sand I will collect when I’ll travel to Portugal in July.

I hope I gave you a nice idea to create an object that would remind you of your travels everytime you look at it 😉 Let me know if you have or have created any nice travel memorabilia artefact, I would love to exchange creative ideas on this space. Bye for now!