Holly Smith Pedlosky


About the work

About the photographer



About the Work

The fragile city of Venice in Italy sits on islands of sand and mud, threatened by the very waters which nourished it for 15,000 years.

Yet the Venetian casalinghe (traditional Italian housewives) know how to defy the encroaching floods. From a dark street you can look up and see how a casalinga harnesses the power of air and light and warmth to dry her clothes and mark her territory. A line of laundry hung in public is like a bird’s song, a bar of music, a personal flag. With it a Venetian woman signals who she is. 

The air and sky and sun play an ancient role in Mediterranean mythology, philosophy, and art. Plato and Neo-Platonists saw the sun as the site where truth and beauty reside, a place which humans could reach by ascension. Virgil envisioned the souls of the dead being cleansed and hung out to dry before entering new bodies. Tiepolo delighted in painting the glorious Venetian sky. 

Looking upwards in Venice is an experience unlike the same act in any other city.

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