I met Rebecca while desperately searching for a wifi connection at a café in our common neighborhood in Florence (Italy).
She too seemed a little bit uneasy trying to help me out. “David used to be the one who knew everything about technique she later told me. Now I have to figure it all out on my own.”
David Bellugi was her late husband: recorder player, professor of music and the father of her two adult daughters Sarah and Sonia.
Our lack of internet connection that day in the café sparked the beginning of friendship. We quickly started sharing our life stories and after just a few meetings we were talking about doing a short road movie together.
Based on the idea of recycling Rebecca had started going through all of the work she had accumulated throughout the years. From morning till midnight she was working tirelessly in her studio reviewing artist books, paintings, poems and painted sculptures. Picking up the work again after the loss of her husband was clearly a trip down memory lane for her. Having been born in Chicago, brought up in Puerto Rico and grown into adulthood in Paris, where she met her beloved life companion with whom she moved to Italy; there was a lot to absorb and to reinvent.
Often while we were talking text messages would pop up on her phone from both of her “girls”, as she calls them. With one daughter living in Berlin and the other in Sweden, I observed how she passionately managed to turn a profound mourning process into an artistic immersion.
She naturally made me feel like a part of her story and I suggested her to embark on an emotional and artistic journey together: bringing her work out of the studio and into an open space. Not with the aim to exhibit it like she had often done, but to create a new connection with the work. A new memory thread. Just for her.
I started imagining Rebecca’s paintings outside – and so did she. Especially a collection of surreal astronauts called to be taken on a trip.
So where did we go?
We went backwards and forward in time – as freely as you can do in space. The destination after all was not a question of geography. It was rather a meeting place where that which we can share with each other and that which each one of us carry silently within us can coexist and obtain a new meaning.