13 Feet Off The Ground – Graniti Murales

Graniti Murales/Art Project Graniti

If you haven’t heard the news yet, I have just returned from a month and half long adventure, that opened my eyes and heart to the richness of Sicilian culture. My trip took me to New York, then London via The Queen Mary across the Atlantic for 7 days, plane to Rome, train to Sicily, then flew back to London before heading home just in time for the Eastside Culture Crawl which starts today, Thurs Nov 16th! The purpose of the trip, was to stay at an artist residency in a small village in Sicily, called Graniti, with an art collective I am a part of called 13 Feet Off The Ground. I cannot express enough how much this special gem of a place has meant to all of the 13FOTG members, and I am so happy to have experienced it with these women. During our stay at the residency, called Graniti Murales or Art Project Graniti, we each painted our own mural for the town and then a group mural. We were able to go on some “outtings” to see the surrounding areas and also got to experience some of Sicilian culture by doing a day of olive picking. If you would like to see more images and hear more stories about our trip as well as information from each artist, please go to our website 13feetofftheground.com


Shifting and Revealing

Was it the Church bell’s random song?
Or the dog’s warning as I tread along?

Was it those subtle ways, so helpful but frightening?
Warm inviting gazes, windows to uncharted places?

Was it the frigid wind, that awoke me and lifted me up higher?

Floating towards the mountains
Painted under a Sicilian sky

Proud to be finally finished the mural after being in Sicily for 3 weeks. The mural took just under 2 weeks to complete, maybe working 5 hour days and had to stop a couple of days because of rain and “technical” difficulties. 

Here I am with my 10ft x 67ft mural completed. It is called “Shifting and Revealing”. At first, the piece was more about the animals and insects I met on my first couple of days of my trip, with the hummingbirds representing Vancouver’s official bird and the red thread representing 13 Feet Off The Ground. By the time I completed, it became more about my experience and the openings and shifts I felt during my time in Graniti, than the actual animals themselves. It was through the animals, the olive trees, the sage and eucalyptus branches, the bells that would ring randomly all day and all night, the night sky, the new Sicilian card game, called Briscola, I learned, the friends I arrived with and the new ones I had made along the way… all the elements of my journey… the masks and layers moving away to reveal this Being on the inside… who of course is me.

There is more to this story, of course, and I cannot forget all the help, encouragement, gratitude and all the food 🙂 that I received while doing this piece from the locals and from the rest of the group. It might all sound cheesy, but it’s true… I feel like a new person after this trip and encourage anyone thinking of doing this residency to DO IT… or any residency! It really takes you out of your regular everyday life and forces you to be present and look at things differently with compassion.

For more info on Graniti Murales, go to granitimurales.org

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