This is a story of passion and beauty, Calabria and the universe, colours and nature.
This is a story that began long, long ago – here stood ancient temples, Roman baths, medieval monasteries. Great artists have passed this way and here they have created their art – a story that looks into the future. It’s a laboratory that is endless, as light, imagination, wind and art are endless. “Universal harmonies” where shape, colour and energy are three-dimensional elements that make up a whole: water, air, fire depicted among spacious and fragmentary cosmic-terrestrial geometries and fields. Only Nik Spatari and Hiske Maas can tell the story of MUSABA, because it is they who invented, dreamed, planned and built it day after day, nourishing it with their dreams and their efforts.
Nik and Hiske. He is Calabrian, she is Dutch. So close and so distant. So different and so similar. They have been a couple for fifty years, since they decided to live together here in Santa Barbara, a plain overlooking the Ionian Sea, in the ancient heart of the Locride area. It was buried in brambles and neglect, and they turned it into Musaba, Calabria’s only open-air museum, one of the few in Europe which is also a laboratory of artistic experimentation and landscape protection. He is a painter, sculptor and architect: a precocious and irresistible talent, a self-taught artist formed by frequenting and collaborating with the great names of the twentieth century, from Picasso to Le Corbusier, Jean Cocteau to Max Ernst; she is in charge of organisation and communication. She is also an artist by vocation and training.
Rewinding the tape of memory, Hiske revisits her existential adventure using a singular unit of measurement. “My personal history is linked to art. I was born in a wonderful 17th century farmhouse, and I distinctly remember that even as a small child I was contrary. I grew up in a sporty family (sailing and hockey); I was fairly free but soon realised I had to escape from the usual course of the daughter of a wealthy family – university then a good marriage.