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ART AND NATURE AT PIANPICOLLO With open eyes: gaze and photography

9 October 2019

Pianpicollo Selvatico is an airy farm from the early nineteenth century. Its name means “Little Wild Plan” (Piccolo Piano Selvatico) because it is located within a small high plain surrounded by oaks, beeches and chestnuts woods. We are in Alta Langain the south of Piedmont, near the village of Levice. When the wind blows, Liguria and the sea can be already heard. This part of the Langhe is still little known and even more varied, authentic and a bit wild.

The farm has been restored by expert hands using only local stones and local wood. Advanced technologies and the use of renewable energy ensure environmental sustainability. The group of houses has been divided into comfortable rooms with bathroom, a shared kitchen and a laboratory. The land around the farm is cultivated according to the principles of natural farming, looking for a new pact between man and nature. Guests can walk for a long time among ancient trees (many of them cherry trees), vegetable gardens and lawns.

Alice Benessia, an international artist (she is at home in New York), is the living breath of this place, to which she is linked by childhood memories. After purchasing and restoring Pianpicollo she gave it a new meaning by creating the Center for Research in the Arts and the Sciences. Here Alice invites for long residences very different artists, all sharing the desire to find a different relationship with time, in accordance with natural cycles, and to establish a deep connection between their artistic research and the Langhe scenery.

Between summer and autumn 2019 a small group of guests will have the chance to join the resident artists’ daily research, share their vision of the world, cultivate their own creativity under the guide of a master, with simplicity and naturalness. Anyone can participate, all that is needed is curiosity and readiness to get involved.

The other part of the stay is a restful one: pleasant walks in the surrounding area through woods and pastures, local cuisine with vegetables from the garden (or perhaps a pizza prepared with the historic Langa stone oven), and the acquaintance with people who keep these places.

In the workshop scheduled from 12th to 15th December, the artist Alice Benessia will show you her own winter version of Pianpicollo (will be the Santa Lucia’ days), through an original reflection on photography. It is not a technical laboratory so in-depth knowledge or special equipment is not required. It is rather an approach to photography as a way of looking at the world in any possible vision of it. An opportunity to discover one’s own visual photographic language, made of rhythm, tonality, palette, emotional quality. In this direction, the selection and printing of one’s images are no longer the logical conclusion of the process started with the shot, but rather an opportunity to see and hear how and what was looked at, even with the help of the other participants.

  • Workshop with the artist Alice Benessia
  • 13th – 15th December
  • 350 euro per person; 400 euro for single room