I’m sure you know that I am Italian, especially because I sometimes refer to myself as a woman of a modern Italian Renaissance. This definition relies on my artistic vision, centered on the human soul, that has driven me to portraiture since the beginning, and I still find my joy and strongest motivation in representing the heart and the spiritual side through a face and a body.
But let’s come back to my origin and my present location.
I was born and I live in Rieti, a small town in central Italy. We are in a flat land surrounded by mountains. My house is just at the beginning of the road that from the town leads to Monte Terminillo, the highest peak of Latium.
In ancient times this area was inhabited from the pre-Roman population of Sabines. Indeed the first chapters of the Roman history narrate about the Sabin origin of Rome (the lengend of Romulus and Remus, whose mother, Rea Silvia, was the daughter of the Sabine king) and about an alternation of Roman and Sabine kings governing the Roman kingdom.
Most of all, following the historiographical work of Titus Livius, the Roman civilization owes to the Sabine one the massive presence of women who actually contributed to the birth of the Roman civilization.
The so-called ‘Rape of Sabine women’ lies in that subtle, thin veil between history and legend, and my town recently decided to remind this episode through a huge mural painting on the walls of the court, made by Ozmo.
You can see that the rape is located in the central area of the painting, where the artist evokes the previous representation of the same subject sculpted by Giambologna through a statuary group dating back to 1574-1580 a.C.
But what’s the result in having such origins, you may ask. How is that related to your art practice, after all? It is hard to explain, but in that Sabine blood flowing in my veins I recognise the determination of the people of the mountains.
My low attachment to material things, my tendency in never giving up against all evidence, and maybe also a mild, initial distrust for all the news.
So I’m a woman of a modern Renaissance, but my heart is anchored to the millennial history of my town, where the time flows slowly and every change seems like in slow motion.
SABINA MATER, Sabina mother of Rome. Sounds, echoes of hidden lands.