The island of Burano lies in the northern part of the Venetian lagoon, about 45 minutes by boat from Venice itself. Along with neighbouring Torcello, it is less busy than the more commercial Murano - its intimate fishing village atmosphere certainly feels miles apart from the palatial grandeur of Venice.
You could almost be in Greece; certainly, the art of lacemaking found its way here from Cyprus. While the labour-intensive nature of this craft has made it a more rarified spectacle, no visitor strolling the little streets of this island can miss the colourful houses. Lore has it that they were brightly painted as a guide to returning fishermen, or possibly simply as a means of marking out property boundaries. Either way, it’s a paradise for photographers who wish to take a break from the crowds and some of the overly-familiar vistas of Venice.
My own photography on the island was constrained by another brief, so I had only a short time to capture some images for myself during the middle of the day when the sun was high, which was less than ideal. I found myself drawn to an abstract approach, ditching the camera in favour of an i-Phone and concentrating on where these colours met or had to accommodate street names and numbers or pipes. The resulting compositions show uncompromising hues redolent of summer - hot pinks, sultry oranges and reds, lapis blues - the raw ingredients of the northern Italian Renaissance paintings hanging in ornate palazzi a few kilometres away and here peeling in the sunshine on the walls of modest fishermen’s homes.
Looking carefully as well at textures and details brings its rewards; I think my favourite shot is of the painted ants seemingly appearing out of a crack in the wall, but they have been painted over on the right side - did the owner of the orange house not like the idea of them running over his side of the property? Something to idly contemplate as the boat later pulled out into that blue coloured lagoon.