Exhibition: Artisanal Compass
28 Jan - 22 Feb

Artisanal Compass

In Artisanal Compass, Helen Sheehan, explored the link between craftsmanship across the Mediterranean, from the jewels of the Kabylie region in Algeria to Italian artisanal production, from the Amalfi Coast (ceramics, paper) to the Nativity Scenes of Naples. This ongoing project was initially funded by the Irish Arts council of Ireland.

Set in the beautiful Palazzo Pisani Revedin in Venice, from 28 January to 22 February 2024.

A review of the exhibition by, Claudia Meschini, was published on 30th January 2024 in the, Il Gazzatino, Venice.


The Mediterranean in the photographs of Irish artist Helen Sheehan PHOTOGRAPHY

VENICE, Palazzo Revedin (San Marco 4013/A, Carnpo Manin hosts "Artisan Compass," a photographic exhibition by Irish artist Helen Sheehan. A journey exploring Northern and Southern Mediterranean artisan work through the crafts of ceramics, paper, presepi and jewellery, creating visual and imaginary connections between the different localities.

The interconnection of maritime cultures-through craft work is the basis of this project, funded in part by the Arts Council of Ireland. In Amalfi, Helen Sheehan photographs Rosaura Pinto's ceramics whose work and use of colours and motifs, echo the commercial history of this stretch of coastline.

Also in Amalfi inside the Paper Museum, she captures through her lens the ancient processes of paper manufacture, in the ancient paper mill of Amatruda. She focuses on the copy of Marco Polo's last testament bound in embossed leather with an imprinted gondola.

In Naples, on Via San Gregorio Armeno, Helen Sheehan photographs the stories of the traditional Neapolitan Comedia del Arte in the Presepi figurines that embody the energy and humour of the city in its more ample Mediterranean context.

And finally, to Algeria, where the art of jewellery-making typical of the coastal hinterland of the Kabylie region dating back to the late 15th century, is still manufactured today. “Saved by the Berbers, a population that still produces this jewellery in silver, coral and enamel," the photographer explains.

The exhibition is open until Feb. 22 from Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

In conjunction with the "Artisan Compass" exhibition, Palazzo Revedin is also hosting the international group show "Venice in Mask" until Feb. 13. A wide range of works - painting, sculpture, photography, graphics and installation, not necessarily featuring masks in the literal sense of the term. "Each of the thirty-five artists present, represented, in an aesthetic form, their own mask intended as an expression of self and their own emotional universe," explains curator Maria Palladino.

Claudia Meschini
Il Gazzatino, Venezia 30th January 2024

Helen Sheehan