Ceiling Shapes / by Sasha Ward

Galatina, Puglia, Southern Italy: above, my drawing station on the roof top, below the view I was drawing one hot evening in mid July. The roofs surrounding me across the narrow streets in this historic part of town were full of fascination - lumps, bumps and enclosures to surmount or section off the shapes made by the vaulted ceilings inside the buildings.

 sketchbook page, view from drawing station

sketchbook page, view from drawing station

 sketchbook page, standing up to draw the enclosed lump on the roof of the building opposite

sketchbook page, standing up to draw the enclosed lump on the roof of the building opposite

Left, sitting room ceiling: Centre and right, ground floor ceilings.

Inside the house all the rooms had vaulted ceilings, the seams from the corner points not quite joining but forming a circle for a hanging lamp. The one in the sitting room had traces of painting, the unrestored ground floor ceilings were criss-crossed with unexplained wires and bare bulbs, emphasising their stellar shape.

On our journey we stayed at Castello di Semivicoli an incredible castle with the guest bedrooms squeezed in to the spaces on the second floor left by the vaulted ceiling bumps. In the huge first floor rooms the vaulted ceilings are decorated in a different way each time, with subtle paint colours and shaped mouldings. I particularly love the wonky geometry as the central medallion shapes are drawn on to the irregular contours of the ceilings that rise to a flatish plane, suitable for chandelier hanging.

Circle, octagon and cloud on the ceilings of Castello di Semivicoli.