Marcovaldo is a labourer who revels in nature wherever he can find it: in the cracks of the sidewalk, in a clump of mushrooms by the side of the road or in a babbling fountain. In Candida Girling’s mixed-media prints we find Marcovaldo on a park bench, which is for him a portal into the bucolic refuge of his imagination.
These excerpts from Marco Valdo by Italo Calvino served as inspiration for Candida Girling's work:
“This Marcovaldo possessed an eye ill-suited to city life: billboards, traffic lights, shop windows, neon signs, postes, no matter how carefully devised to catch the attention, never arrested his gaze, which might have been running over the desert sands. Instead, he would never miss a leaf yellowing on a branch, a
feather trapped by a roof-tile; there was no horsefly on a horses back, no worm-hole in a plank, or a fig-peel squashed on the sidewalk that Marcovaldo didn’t remark and ponder over, discovering the changes of season, the yearnings of his heart, and the woes of his existence.”
“In one corner of the square, under a dome of horse chestnuts, there was a remote, half-hidden bench. And Marcovaldo picked it as his own. On those summer nights, in the room where five of them slept, when he couldn’t get to sleep, he would dream of the bench as a vagabond dreams of a bed in a palace. “
“And yet, once, a flight of autumn woodcock appeared in a street’s slice of sky.
And the only one to notice was Marcovaldo, who always walked with his nose in
….And as he proceeded, his eyes on the birds, he found himself at an
intersection, the light red, in the midst of the automobiles …
Can’t you ever get lights straight, asked his foreman.”