Description by the artist
Wood, cuttlefish bone, stones and shell fragments picked up from the Mediterranean Sea. Here is Sicilian Tellina (the tellina is a delicious Mediterranean mollusk and in the sculpture it is the one above the eye of the little fish). I don’t know how and when my passion and the discovery of cuttlebone chiseling was born, a bit like Michelangelo said that: “The work of art is already inside the block of marble. The work consists only in removing the excess, to make it emerge. You don’t have to add anything, you just have to know how to remove.” I started with a simple nail file, now I use diamond tip files. My subjects are faces, fish and glimpses of Sicily, the cocci d’amuri (Sicilian for glimpses of love). They can be used to embellish environments of various kinds. The calcium carbonate of which they are made of, makes them fragile and light, so their processing is particularly delicate and meticulous. Exploiting the characteristic form lanceolata, I succeed in realizing forms and different subjects, spacing from the white of the stuccoes of the Serpotta, to the bright colors of our Sicily.
The artwork in the Sicilian culture
The Mediterranean Sea is the sea that bathes Sicily, an island that is located right in the middle of it and for this reason it has always been a coveted land for the control of the entire area.Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Siceliots … sailed it with their ships. It is a sea rich in varieties of fish. It is a sea rich in archaeological finds from ships sunk over the centuries. It is a sea that 50 million years ago dried up and then tectonic uplifts led it to form the current mountains of Sicily. That’s why you can find shells and fishes walking on the summits of eastern Sicily. It is a sea that reminds us of the Temple of Venus Erice, the most revered temple of antiquity of sailors, right on top of Mount Erice, western Sicily. It is the mare Nostrum!
Giacomo Serpotta was a talented Sicilian plasterer of the 17th century whose stupendous works can be admired in several churches and museums in Sicily.
(photo) Nautical chart of Sicily with insets of (clockwise from top left) Syracuse, Catania, Palermo, Lampedusa, Ustica, Stromboli, Valletta, Strait of Messina, Augusta, Agrigento, and Trapani, 1845