Speaking Place - Il Muro Fresco -

Il Muro Fresco – Fresco Masterclass with Eolo Paul Bottaro

Mention the word fresco and most people immediately think of iconic images like that of Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel or Leonardo’s Last Supper. As a major art-form in the Renaissance, many in Australia including those involved in visual arts regard this technique as constrained to history, relevant to past European cultures that created the frescoes that adorn their churches and palazzi, rather than the inhabitants of our antipodean shores. This is evidenced in the scarcity of fresco painting in Australia, with few practitioners and little to no representation in contemporary art. Yet one Melbourne based artist has a very different view of this ancient technique, seeing its potential for art makers of today.

Making a fresco is a slow affair. The preparation can take days as lime is slaked and mixed with sand, then applied to the wall in stages. Paint made from pigment and water is applied quickly while the lime plaster is still wet so it is absorbed and becomes embedded in the surface. In short it is art built for permanence – like a visual antidote to the impermanence that pervades so much of the material output of our fast moving society. And herein lies frescoes importance for Bottaro. This is painting slowed down. Slow painting, like slow food, requires attention to every aspect of its construction, the process being essential to the finished result.

‘Il Muro Fresco’ will be a demonstrative workshop, and registration includes welcome breakfast and lunch.

Tickets can also be purchased for the Speaking Place Collaborative Dinner that evening. 

Eolo Paul Bottaro

Born and raised in Melbourne, Eolo Paul Bottaro studied at the Victorian College of the Arts, but learnt about fresco after he finished his BFA and spent time abroad working with Italian practitioners. Upon returning to Melbourne Bottaro began investigating fresco within his own practice, discovering the exacting materiality of the process which requires an entirely different approach than painting in other mediums. He began taking on large commissions to fresco the interiors of private residences in Melbourne, including one home that featured 49 exterior pieces, large wall panels, and a dome. Excited by the challenge of using this old technique to create a contemporary interpretation of his patrons and the world they inhabit, Bottaro embraced this and other subsequent commissions, which remain hidden away in private residences in suburban Melbourne.

The Speaking Place workshops will be delivered by carefully selected, world-class artists and makers at Piccolo Family Farm. The workshops will be centred around the concept of ‘Speaking Place’, and will be delivered across a day of networking among emerging artists of various disciplines, culminating in a collaborative dinner in the Cellar Door and Experience Centre.

Registration includes participation in ‘Il Muro Fresco’ with welcome breakfast, and light lunch.
Tickets can also be purchased for the Speaking Place Collaborative Dinner that evening. 








Speaking Place is proudly supported by Western Riverina Arts