Saturday, December 1
Giannis book: Vali Myers
This morning I bumped into my hermit-like friend Gianni. He said it was lonely up in his wild valley so I decided to go and visit him after lunch. I took Skye with me and as we climbed up through the steep valley I described to her where we were going.
"Gianni lives in a magic house that is all the colours of the rainbow, inside and out. There are lots of dogs that will bark when we arrive, and you must never never open the gate until Gianni arrives. I did once and got bitten on the leg.
There are pools full of fat goldfish, lots of cats that live on the roof, a waterfall outside the back door and lots of chickens and doves."
"How many dogs?"
"More than twenty."
"Really Mummy? Are you lying to me?"
"No, it's all true. You'll see when we get there..."
Back in June I wrote about Giannis book, the biography of Austrailian artist Vali Myers. It is now available to order from the Golda Foundation:
"The Australian artist, Vali Myers, was a legend in her own time. Première danseuse of the Melbourne Modern Ballet at seventeen, she left home and spent ten years in Paris, living much of the time on the streets but never ceasing to draw. Ed van der Elsken famously put her on the cover of his Love on the Left Bank, that manifesto of Paris in the 1950’s and her work was praised by George Plimpton in his Paris Review. Then, saying goodbye to all that, she spent forty years in semi-seclusion in a wild canyon in Italy, where she continued producing her minute, mystical, and passionate drawings. Tough as nails, she fought the local authorities who wanted to introduce loggers into the valley, after a long struggle succeeding in having it designated an Environmental Oasis. Finally, Vali returned triumphant to her native Melbourne, where she was recognized as an artist sui generis.
In this brilliant memoir by her friend and lover, Gianni M, her art, times, and personality come through unforgettably. For thirty years, Gianni M, the author of this memoir, lived with Vali Myers in the wild canyon of ‘Il Porto’—first as lover and willing slave, ultimately as friend, confidant, and protector."
We stayed until the sun started to set and the shadows grew longer, creeping into the valley. We reached the road just in time to watch the sky turn golden as the sun disappeared behind a cloud:
at 6:13 PM