Jul 1, 2012

Memento Spotlight: Conversation doodles from Firenze, Italy

A Memento Year Exhibition - 'Anatomy of a Conversation'
Over Christmas in Hamburg I had the pleasure of presenting an exhibition at the Art Gallery I was sleeping at. I had met a German artist earlier that year in Venice, he extended an invitation for me to crash at his Artist commune and put on a show. I took him up on the offer 10 months later and presented all I could, the artifacts and memories I'd accumulated on my trip. These spotlights will showcase those mementos and detail the stories behind them.

Detail scan - 19/02/2011
Day 22: Firenze, Italy
I only stayed 2 days in Florence, Italy. It was early into my year abroad and I was still developing my style of travel. At this stage I was traveling quickly and hadn't yet decided on staying a month in each Country. I had also organised some hostel work for my return to Venezia the following week for Carnevale so I was on a tight schedule.
That said, I make a point of creating a signature moment for each place I visit as a reminder for that experience. Its not something you can really manufacture but its helped by being proactive in engaging people and placing yourself in good position.

I arrived in Firenze during the afternoon, I met a few people at the hostel and invited them out for a stroll. Unfortunately there were no takers. It was a Saturday so the streets and squares were teeming with kids, being a student town there was a lot of energy in the air. I opted for a more chilled out bar as I was on my own, I chose the Gran Tintori Club for its live music.

At the the table closest to the stage I noticed a lady doodling on a large piece of paper, I sat with her and we chatted. Her name was Roberta, she was visiting from Rome and was friends with the band. She had been drawing to occupy her as she was sitting alone. Our discussion ranged from places to visit in Italy, music and the spirit of different European nations. Interestingly she continued doodling to supplement our conversation and to express what she wasn't confidently able to in English. Afterwards she graciously gave me her drawings as an unforgettable souvenir of the chat.

I would later present that long sheet of paper during my 'Memento Year' Exhibition in Hamburg. The piece was titled 'Anatomy of a Conversation'.

What mementos have you kept? Do you keep people's scribbles?


  1. I love spain! I'll be checking it out :)

  2. I too love Spain. But we're in Florence, Italy right now. Hehe