Domenico de Clario


The Diver's Clothes Lying Empty

Domenico de Clario was born in Trieste, Italy in 1947; he lives in Melbourne, Australia. De Clario's The Diver's Clothes Lying Empty (1996) consists of thirty small oil paintings that he made during his stay in Sabbathday Lake in June 1996, one a day. For the artist, "the Shaker Village, the Lake, the fields and orchards, the sheep, the sky above it all, and the seven Shakers [who formed the community at the time] all exude a 'Shakerness' as any 'body' might exude its essential nature." Each day de Clario walked a spiral path of seven locations, designating the chakras, or energy-system, of this body. The paintings were made in those locations, with the color that characterized its particular chakra. By painting blindfolded and with a Shaker basket over his head, de Clario could focus on the essence of each chakra, as he attempted to understand their Shakerness. In addition to the paintings, he also improvised daily, blindfolded at the piano, after meditating on that particular day's chakra color. The sounds produced complemented the color used in the painting that day. On June 21, the evening of the summer solstice, de Clario sat blindfolded at the piano again in the Meeting House, playing without interruption from 8:27 pm until 4:57 am the following morning. The daily playing and the solstice performance constitute Shaker Road (the quiet in the land), the double CD that was produced as part of the project.