The Sea Palace Hotel:
The Sea Palace Hotel a group of nine paintings, three photographs and twenty poems which explore Patrick and Raff's three week visit to Colaba in Mumbai, India, during February 2016. The Sea Palace Hotel is just down the road from the Taj Mahal Hotel, and the site of the Islamist terrorist killings in 2008. The Gateway To India, a huge and magnificent arch built by the Indians to welcome the English and The East India Company to India, was also the place where Raff camped for a few weeks free accommodation - back in the mists of time, when she was on the hippy trail.
Travel art can be a way of seeing. In The Sea Palace Hotel Patrick McCauley poems and Raffaella Torresan’s paintings refresh such seeing. Past narratives which persist in memory and collide with the shock of the present through the viewing of new unfamiliar landscapes and cultures. The confusion of ideas and stories which are already with us, merge with the first hand stories and images never before viewed first hand. This phenomenology allows the perception of the artist to apply itself differently—as it seeks to find its truth or beauty within the new environs. We search for new words (or colours or lines) to describe what we see ‘en plein air’. Words tumble through each other. Time can be felt to expand and contract.
"In a sequence of verbal and visual responses to the Mumbai stream of consciousness flowing around them, Mc Cauley's poems and Torresan's paintings and photographs achieve a kind of syncopation, working as ciphers of a shared experience, rather than simply being versions of each other. As a result we are given access, both as readers and as viewers, to a world that meets us on several dimensions at once."
Dr Homer Rieth
I travel to India
with a thousand stories in my head.
They filter the people in the street,
the beggar is a book I read.
The beauty I saw in Bollywood.
Taxi driver knows the dens
and the price of hashish blends,
the secret pool beneath the trees,
Byron, Shelley, Coleridge.
The wedding guest.
I listen more,
stories made this city tall.
Stories wait to be told,