in the shadow of home:
An artist's journey in a new land nonfiction
Carmelo Arnoldin documents his labour of decades to create his vision of a universalhome for all—“Mille”—a monumental work of architecture, sculpture and installation art.
Mario Gentilin’s story begins at the peak of the Second World War, in the northern Italian village of Revó, where his family has lived for five centuries.
Surrounded by family and tied to the land, the music, the art and his faith in the truth of Catholicism, Mario—enthralled by the works of Michelangelo, Cano and Bernini—dreams of one day earning the right to be called an artist.
With the promise of arts training, Mario enters a seminary where he spends four lonely years filled with disillusionment, until he decides to immigrate to Canada with his family.
In Revó, Mario was embedded in the past and in the present. In Canada, he is a lost soul. He is anonymous, with no identity. Living in a strange land, among people who often see him as strange, Mario is forced to redefine his idea of “home.”
About the Author
Carmelo Arnoldin, born and raised in rural Italy, immigrated to Canada in 1960. He has is first solo exhibition as a visual artist in 1984, in Toronto and has since shown his work across Canada, the United States and in Italy.
Over the past thirty years, Arnoldin has laboured on an epic project called Mille, an architectural monument to mark the end of the last millennium and the beginning of the new. Mille, an archetypal home, is an expression of the raw interaction between Arnoldin and his adopted country, Canada.
Arnoldin documents this gesture of hope and quest for knowledge, and the non-resolution and fulfillment of his journey in his first book, In the Shadow of Home.
Carmelo Arnoldin currently lives in Toronto, Canada, where he teaches in the Art & Art History program at the University of Toronto. He is working on his first novel.