Venice, October 2016

Saturday, October 8

Oooo today was wet and chilly!

I had read about this phenomenon but it has to be seen to be believed!

Despite the rain, I hopped onto a vaporetto and headed for the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

The island dates back to 790 and was first known as the island of the cypresses.

A trip in an elevator to the top of the bell tower of the San Giorgio Maggiore Church allows one to have a magnificent view of Venice.

Nothing could have prepared me for the experience of the church itself. The atmosphere of silence and beauty in this basilica is enhanced by the work of the contmporary artist Jaume Plensa. I have photographed (and posted on Instagram) his works I have seen in Abu Dhabi and Calgary. To meet this piece here, simply stopped me in my tracks. I spent ages sitting and standing and looking at it from all angles.

It is called "Together", is made up of 8 alphabets and symbolizes mercy. Part of the Art Biennale 2015 it is being left here for 2016, the Jubilee year of mercy declared by Pope Francis.

Many, many photographs later and just as I was getting ready to leave the church, I heard Gregorian chant. At first I thought it was a recording but upon further investigation discovered 6 monks chanting the daily office in the sanctuary. I stayed there till they finished.

Behind the church is a labyrinth which was unfortunately closed, and this beautiful glass tea house Mondrian by Hiroshi Sugimoto.

I ended my time on the island with a visit to the Paolo Venini exhibition and the exhibition called "Mindful Hands" which showcases illuminated leaves, cuttings and miniatures.

The last stop of the day was Palazzo Michiel to see the kilim of Abdalla Al Wahadi whom I first met at Design Days Dubai. The kilim contains the word "yearning" which is repeated.

I loved the way her scarf blended in with the kilim.

The rain has stopped, Quiet descends, Does Venice sleep?

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