Matera is a symbol of Rebirth, rising from extreme and prolonged difficulties. For decades it was referred to as the shame of Italy then it rose to become the jewel. Nominated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1993 and European Capital of Culture in 2019.
Through centuries it has changed shape over and over again, in an ongoing dialogue between rock and architecture. Carlo Levi in his book 'Christ Stopped at Eboli' singles out the Sassi of Matera for it's 'tragic beauty and hallucinogenic aura of decay, like a school boy's idea of Dantés Inferno". The place today is riddled with tunnels and caves, what you see on the surface is only 30 percent, the other 70 is hidden beneath. The town was evacuated in 1952 and all its inhabitants were rehoused in suburban newly constructed accommodation. It was then left desolate until the early 1980's. I am captivated by the towns histories, and its rejuvenation, it presses one to examine current issues of social housing, unfinished public works, suburbs and how we may live within a space without recognition of its potential. This is a work in progress.