Graniti Murales

Making art in Sicily in 2017

We spent 3 weeks in Sicily in 2017, most of it in Graniti, a small town in eastern Sicily, near to the Ionian coast and near to the largest active volcano in Europe, Mt. Etna. The bustling tourist destinations of Taormina, Giardini-Naxos and Catania are nearby, but Graniti wants more visitors. One initiative to raise interest in Graniti has been to establish a residency programme for artists to create contemporary murals on walls in the town - and a group of artists from Vancouver were asked to participate this year.

Here is the result.

Alison Keenan
Alison Keenan
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Joanne Hastie
Joanne Hastie
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Melanie Ellery
Melanie Ellery
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Sheree Jones
Sheree Jones
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Carol McQuaid
Carol McQuaid
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Deborah Bakos
Deborah Bakos
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Rosemary Burden
Click on large image for more information about Rosemary's participation.
Stacks Image 956

Rosemary's participation in this project came as something of a surprise to her, because her art does not normally include painting or murals. Her main interests are installations and drawing. She was however asked to join the group and very much encouraged to participate in Graniti.

The Graniti organizers of the residency want to broaden the scope of the murals project, and expressed a wish to recover this small property that had been sadly neglected and used as an unsanctioned waste dump. Rosemary embraced the idea and proceeded to clean the site and make temporary installations from some of the artifacts found there. And Rob Bakos, Melanie Ellery and Lori Popaduik contributed rocks painted to reference three of the murals.

The Graniti organizers responded enthusiastically and used the transformed site as a tool to educate the community and show them how an unattractive space could be converted to become attractive and useful. They intend to make further use of the site for other art projects.

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Tannis Hopkins
Tannis Hopkins
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Angela Gooliaff
Angela Gooliaff
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Lori Popaduik
Lori Popaduik
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Jenn Brisson
Jenn Brisson
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Morgane Billeault
Morgane Billeault
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Graniti Murales
Click on large image for more information about the Group "postcard"
A Group "Postcard" of all the works

The Group "Postcard"

The 2017 Graniti Murales project carried out by the Canadian group of women artists known as "13 Feet off the Ground", included a group wall - a postcard of images representing the works and a map identifying the locations in Graniti.

The completion of the murals and official inauguration of the murals was celebrated at a ceremony held in front of the Group Postcard.

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Of course we also explored in and around Graniti.

Graniti is surrounded by harsh, dry ridges and peaks, turning green now. The town is nestled in the valley, surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and orchards. We were there in October and November - the dry heat of Summer was over and the vegetation was benefiting from the early rains. Mt. Etna was even coated with snow one morning.

The town looks pretty with all the buildings huddled close together and dominated by the big church in the middle. Roads in town wind and twist between the buildings, without much room for cars. And the cars show the wounds of it. Other talented muralists have been busy in Graniti before us, and the murals do brighten the town, as does the paint on the buildings. Italians are not afraid of colour, and it looks wonderful. It is a very Catholic community, and there are a number of big churches and many small shrines. A big and well-cared-for cemetery was quite the sight on All Souls Night.

Outside the town, the forests of umbrella pine are magnificent. Apparently when the heat of summer is too much, a temporary bar opens up there in the cooler air, and the locals gather to eat and drink in comfort. We were too late in the year for that - but we also missed the heat! And, because it was Autumn, in the woods we saw carpets of cyclamen flowers. Behind and above the town we found a pretty area of orchards and the views from there at sunset were wonderful. We even spotted a house that we thought would make a great holiday home. Dream on!


Click on a photo for a larger image and a slide show.

  • 01 Dry hills above Graniti
    01 Dry hills above Graniti
  • 02 Olive groves and vineyards above Graniti
    02 Olive groves and vineyards above Graniti
  • 03 Graniti
    03 Graniti
  • 04 A large church dominates
    04 A large church dominates
  • 05 The hills are turning green in Autumn
    05 The hills are turning green in Autumn
  • 06 Steets are not wide or straight
    06 Steets are not wide or straight
  • 07 Buildings huddle close together
    07 Buildings huddle close together
  • 08 Pedestrian only zones are abundant
    08 Pedestrian only zones are abundant
  • 09 Graniti hiding in the shade
    09 Graniti hiding in the shade
  • 10 Other talented muralists have been there before us
    10 Other talented muralists have been there before us
  • 11 Graniti
    11 Graniti
  • 12 Another small shrine
    12 Another small shrine
  • 13 Small shrines are all around
    13 Small shrines are all around
  • 14 Welcome to the large and handsome cemetary
    14 Welcome to the large and handsome cemetary
  • 15 Apartments for the departed
    15 Apartments for the departed
  • 16 All Souls Day is observed faithfully and the trade in fresh flowers is huge
    16 All Souls Day is observed faithfully and the trade in fresh flowers is huge
  • 17 More light and colour for All Souls Day
    17 More light and colour for All Souls Day
  • 18 A colourful local
    18 A colourful local
  • 19 Lots of cats
    19 Lots of cats
  • 20 Earlier mural of the Trinacria symbol of Sicily
    20 Earlier mural of the Trinacria symbol of Sicily
  • 21 Detail of earlier mural
    21 Detail of earlier mural
  • 22 Another detail of the same mural
    22 Another detail of the same mural
  • 23 One of many lush olive groves
    23 One of many lush olive groves
  • 24 Ancient but productive olive trees
    24 Ancient but productive olive trees
  • 25 Umbrella pines
    25 Umbrella pines
  • 26 Wild cyclamen
    26 Wild cyclamen
  • 27 Carpet of cyclamen
    27 Carpet of cyclamen
  • 28 Feathers and leaves in an old bathtub in the woods
    28 Feathers and leaves in an old bathtub in the woods
  • 29 Walk far enough and you see Etna and the sea
    29 Walk far enough and you see Etna and the sea
  • 30 Etna looms ever active and dusted with snow
    30 Etna looms ever active and dusted with snow
  • 31 Further on and higher up the farms and orchards are very attractive
    31 Further on and higher up the farms and orchards are very attractive
  • 32 From here you see the sea and if you turn around you see Mt Etna
    32 From here you see the sea and if you turn around you see Mt Etna
  • 33 And this would suit nicely as our holiday cottage (just dreaming)
    33 And this would suit nicely as our holiday cottage (just dreaming)
  • 01 Dry hills above Graniti
    01 Dry hills above Graniti
  • 02 Olive groves and vineyards above Graniti
    02 Olive groves and vineyards above Graniti
  • 03 Graniti
    03 Graniti
  • 04 A large church dominates
    04 A large church dominates
  • 05 The hills are turning green in Autumn
    05 The hills are turning green in Autumn
  • 06 Steets are not wide or straight
    06 Steets are not wide or straight
  • 07 Buildings huddle close together
    07 Buildings huddle close together
  • 08 Pedestrian only zones are abundant
    08 Pedestrian only zones are abundant
  • 09 Graniti hiding in the shade
    09 Graniti hiding in the shade
  • 10 Other talented muralists have been there before us
    10 Other talented muralists have been there before us
  • 11 Graniti
    11 Graniti
  • 12 Another small shrine
    12 Another small shrine
  • 13 Small shrines are all around
    13 Small shrines are all around
  • 14 Welcome to the large and handsome cemetary
    14 Welcome to the large and handsome cemetary
  • 15 Apartments for the departed
    15 Apartments for the departed
  • 16 All Souls Day is observed faithfully and the trade in fresh flowers is huge
    16 All Souls Day is observed faithfully and the trade in fresh flowers is huge
  • 17 More light and colour for All Souls Day
    17 More light and colour for All Souls Day
  • 18 A colourful local
    18 A colourful local
  • 19 Lots of cats
    19 Lots of cats
  • 20 Earlier mural of the Trinacria symbol of Sicily
    20 Earlier mural of the Trinacria symbol of Sicily
  • 21 Detail of earlier mural
    21 Detail of earlier mural
  • 22 Another detail of the same mural
    22 Another detail of the same mural
  • 23 One of many lush olive groves
    23 One of many lush olive groves
  • 24 Ancient but productive olive trees
    24 Ancient but productive olive trees
  • 25 Umbrella pines
    25 Umbrella pines
  • 26 Wild cyclamen
    26 Wild cyclamen
  • 27 Carpet of cyclamen
    27 Carpet of cyclamen
  • 28 Feathers and leaves in an old bathtub in the woods
    28 Feathers and leaves in an old bathtub in the woods
  • 29 Walk far enough and you see Etna and the sea
    29 Walk far enough and you see Etna and the sea
  • 30 Etna looms ever active and dusted with snow
    30 Etna looms ever active and dusted with snow
  • 31 Further on and higher up the farms and orchards are very attractive
    31 Further on and higher up the farms and orchards are very attractive
  • 32 From here you see the sea and if you turn around you see Mt Etna
    32 From here you see the sea and if you turn around you see Mt Etna
  • 33 And this would suit nicely as our holiday cottage (just dreaming)
    33 And this would suit nicely as our holiday cottage (just dreaming)