“You’ll see”, my father told me on the day he planted the horse chestnut, “when this tree grows, it will be so big that all the ships in the gulf will use it as a landmark, just like a lighthouse”.
Twenty five years have passed since then and a storm came through which pulled off a part of its foliage but Ippo continued to grow, adapting to the changes, silently and constantly, and now it is a beautiful tree which stands out above our house: it seems like a sentry looking out afar, taller and taller. Its foliage is abundant and its trunk has grown from being young and slender to strong and solid. When it first produced fruit we celebrated, as one celebrates the entrance of a young man into the adult world.
I imagine the captains of the ships who, have rounded the headland at the entrance to the gulf, turn to the hills looking for the large tree above the small grey house, I imagine that after having spotted it in the middle of the hill they feel a sense of gratitude for that tree, which is always there to welcome them, always aware of their passing, immobile and reassuring, like a friend.
This is Ippo for me, a lighthouse which recognizes me and waits for me when I return from the remote places my life takes me to.
I am an Italian illustrator living and working in Milan.
I adore nature, in all its forms and manifestations, even here in the city, where at times it seems to be overwhelmed by buildings and cars, and yet it sprouts explosively even in the cracks in the streets.
I find the inspiration for my drawings in all the little but grandiose demonstrations of life, in all that is coloured amongst the grey, in the funny thoughts that come to mind and make you smile while queueing in the supermarket but also in everything that is growing, learning and has not yet chosen its way!