Today I was walking through hanging paper. When is the last time you put pen to paper? Or you sketched a drawing on paper? Have we not lost the art of paper? I lived in Tuscany surrounded by paper mills. I am in Venice and have seen how they make paper. I am living in a country where the best artist in the world was created. Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, known simply as Michelangelo, was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance born in the Republic of Florence. It was paper that allowed him to exert an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art.

I live in a country, Italy where one thousand-year-old city was created by architectures using paper to express their designs.

It was paper that we can still admire, Leonardo da Vinci. An Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was active as a painter, draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. Was his work respected by the Italian people? They called him a bastard child as he was born out of wedlock. But his father did allow him to be taught by other artists who went down in history, thanks to paper.

Paper waste Gracie Opulanza

It is wonderful gratitude to paper that I can visit the Uffizi museum in Florence.

I recently touched a five-hundred-year-old bible here in Venice. Turning those pages was immensely satisfying. It triggered a part of my brain that I have not felt in a long time. I saw it in Museums here in Venice. The original drawings of Venice before it even was formed. It was thanks to paper I could see this.

How many libraries have become obsolete? Books, unread, unused and just lounging around. What is it about paper bound books that have paralysed our creative minds? Or art and drawing sketches.

When is the last time you painted or sketched an idea? Immersed yourself amongst sheets of paper?

paper art Venice Gracie Opulanza

Reading Books

Why is it that our children are encouraged and taught to read books? Yet in this digital world, we use a kindle or read of our mobile phone. I bought a beautiful diary here in Venice, with wonderful pencils. Why do we need to touch paper to create?

Paper waste Gracie Opulanza

There is something about touching nature that stimulates my brain. To see this paper just hanging about lifeless, in the display below did not sit well with me.  It was a message that I must get back to using paper as a form of expression and creativity.

Paper waste Gracie Opulanza

Paper & Architecture

At La Biennale they have plenty of examples of paper used for building, insulation and working desks. What a fabulous idea. I also sat on a paper stool. So recycling cardboard paper to sit on gives us examples of the power of paper. The use of paper is a very eco-friendly and sustainable way of living. Reading, writing and drawing are wonderful ways to reuse and not waste paper.

I see many artisans sketch and use paper before they create.

Paper Trail Versus Technology

The most powerful tools of control in our cities are algorithms. Facial recognition technology is everywhere and increasingly monitors our access to public space.

If you want to give a hidden message across or be less controlled in what you are sharing in this lockdown world. Paper is the most powerful resource that no man can trace. It can be burnt to leave no paper trail at all. The technology collects data this determines the mood and behaviour of those who enter. With or without you expressing your consent.

You must choose paper, to hide your inner views on this Covid 19. Don’t choose paper for the sake to reserve your personal anonymity.

Technology can and is controlling our lives and thought mind. Paper gives us the freedom to not be in control and create new innovative ideas.

Undocumented Shadow

When is the last time you got a letter? Letters can’t be traced all that much. Elderly people loving reading letters from loved ones. In fact if you send latter these days it shows you gave that person time and you care.

Paper reserve your identity and data, proceeding as an undocumented shadow.

Paper waste Gracie Opulanza

If you want to conceal your inner thoughts and avoid allowing a unique interactive avatar, born from your biometric data and behaviour, to exist in the public data. I suggest you start getting access to as much paper as possible.

writing on paper

Designing Public Spaces For Teenagers

Too old for the playgrounds, too broke for the cafe, too young for the pub: teenagers are ignored in the design of public spaces. The increasing marginalisation of teenagers has been exacerbated by the pandemic and young people have even fewer places to go: School and youth centres are closed or highly restricted and the issue of limited space at home has intensified. Can we change the way teenagers experience public space? Can we design new spaces that include young people?

Get Children To Draw There Ideas

The above seeks to make ignored voices of teenagers heard or unheard. My daughter sketches her thoughts on paper. To help get through this pandemic. It is mental health wellness, thanks to paper.

Basic toilet paper is needed for us all. Were we not all laughing when people were stocking up on toilet paper? Why was that powerful paper we took for granted that simply gets washed away had the most fear gripping experiences on so many during this pandemic? Toilet roll is psychologically embedded in our hygienic brain. Does no one want to wipe their own body fluids with their hands?

Our Youth Must Draw On Paper

As innovative teachers for example architects. We must both be part of and stand apart from the culture within which we operate. We must return to pen and paper. Allowing our children to explore the familiar and unfamiliar. We must embrace history and respect it. Most importantly connected to paper for use and embrace an engaging dialogue for our future co-living urban spaces. Venice was drawn on paper before it was built.

Venice Italy Rooftop Palazzo Mora 2021 (2)

Virtual Art

The biggest mind-blowing art revolution. is where famous art pieces are being sold virtually. During this pandemic rich person like so many of the past. Have bought art. For some having digital art access where money is no issue. It just simple madness for me.

Nothing can ever beat or match paper art. I love looking at art here in Italy. Paper connects me to the artists of the past.