Tell us about your exhibition Mostly Nice Times and what was the inspiration behind it?:
Mostly Nice Times is a very personal reflection from my time in Italy in 2015-19. These works sit within a larger ongoing work, so I’m really happy to show this story. The catalyst behind these specific reflections was born off the passing of my grandmother this year. She was raised in Taormina, Sicily and significant memories I have of her took place there.
I’ve been documenting landscapes, people and details for the past 11 years which are intersected and connecting. I find the process of image making really meditative and brings me into the present. Once I take the image I try and avoid looking at the images for as long as possible after the film is back so I can see it with fresh eyes. After that time my analysis of the environment (in whatever form that is - eg people, landscape, finite details) begins and I start building the story.
What is it about the essence of Sicilian life that draws you in?
I think the casual nature and the hospitality of the people are the two things that stand out to me. Visually everything is beautiful, it’s a warm and welcoming place to exist.
Where would you recommend someone to travel to in Sicily and why?
I feel Palermo is (was) an underrated city - similar to Athens, I feel that Palermo is finally having a moment. I went for the first time in 2015 and it was so gritty and gross, but incredibly beautiful. It is a proper city.
I’ve taken a lot of photos Palermo and in Mondello and driven across Sicily from Palermo so it is a great pivot point.
What was your most memorable meal - where were you and what did you eat?
It is not a meal, but the first ever coffee I had as a teenager was in Taormina - it was a stove top that my dad made in his cousins apartment and I’ll never forget the smell. It would’ve been 1999 and every morning I make one at home, the smell still takes me back to that time.
Is there a signature dish that you have brought home that takes you back to your Sicilian heritage?
Sfincione is something that I've only eaten in Sicily. It’s Sicily’s version of pizza, and really good. I’ve tried to bake something similar back home but it was terrible, so I’m looking forward to being back there and indulging. I think the closest thing I’ve found here in Sydney, was a tomato slice with anchovy done by Pizza Oltra at a pop up somewhere a while ago.
Mostly Nice Times by Nick Tsindos