cm.65x50 - 11 deep - 1977
“Where you under the spell of some religious mysticism when you did this work?” asked to my surprise, Sheila, one of my dear friends attending the studio, at the time when many other ones often used to come visiting ’just popping in’, in the good, old, golden days of Via Delle Mantellate, under Herzl Emanuel’s patronage.
Why should one ask such a question though?
Because one can see in that piece of clay the idea of a cross apposed upon some stylized image of a pained Christ-like-mask, was the unexpected suggestion.
Well whatever may have happened in the Trastevere studio that day I cant remember. Maybe the bells of the famous S.Maria, from the piazza not far form us, were peeling away some message for the congregation piety, or the cannon shot at noon from the Gianicolo, which always would catch me unawares, giving me an unwelcome jolt, combined together may have struck some memento of the unfailing Christianity of this eternal very Christian city of ours.
Struck I was maybe by some distant cord of recollection, maybe of one’s youth lived under the doctrine of well meaning nuns and oratory, purgatory, before eventual emancipation took over and gave me freedom, to be the only thing that I could possibly be. I cannot say.
Impossible for one to always tell the motivations of one’s impulsive doing, when caught by a compelling urge to attack the clay, pushed by something that’s been twirling in your mind for days, or maybe years, and it’s crying for wanting to came out, and be done with.
When you abide by the atmosphere of ancient Rome, the suggestions, cognitive or subliminal, may lure you into reflections, that touch you inside, stay with you unawares for you don’t know how long, and keep working there like silent currents under still water, till the time comes when something sparks and is bound to search fulfilment by some expression, in whatever form compatible with your being, your inner essence and subsequent experience.
Anyway, whichever the tale, the plaster and the bronze casts are there to tell anyone whatever story they may whish to see in it.
That’s all there is to it. That’s art.
Giorgio Attilio Ceccarelli