Collection Arazzi con forme libere - Tapestries with free forms
Three Graces I
My regularly visits to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence transpire in many of my textile works. In any case, it is particularly true for my textile artwork ‘Three Graces’ for which I have elaborated the theme of the 2021 Florence Biennale 'Eternal Feminine – Eternal Change', finding inspiration from the universally known painting ‘la Primavera (the Spring) by Sandro Botticelli, painted at the end of the 15th century.
The three Graces are women-goddesses, protectors of nature. What’s more, the Graces are also the goddesses of the joie-de-vivre, capable of donating nature’s joys to the gods and to humans. The three Graces are present on the left side of the painting, and, clasping their hands, with extreme elegance they dance a ‘carola’, an ancient dance performed by several people in a circle. Their figures are suspended in the air above a field of grass and flowers, in imitation of the Flemish tapestries, which were very popular wallhangings in the houses of the Florentine aristocracy.
In my design of the three Graces I have tried to express this rhythm of the female figures, the beauty of their bodies, the fluidity of the lines within which the bodies do not seem to have any weight. This is to me the eternal female beauty, that will never change. The female figures are tied one to the other by their intertwining hands, but also by the imaginary lines that flow from one body to the other.
The immutable essence of femininity, present in the dancing women-goddesses, is elaborated to a present-day feeling. In contrast with the classical depiction of the female responding to a uniform ideal, physically and emotionally, the feminine figures show varying attitudes and physical shapes.
The female figures try to establish a contact with the spectators, looking straight into their eyes, and they are not focused on themselves, like in Botticelli’s painting. There is no sign of cultivated modesty but a search for a shared, uplifting power.
Based on my design I have created three tapestries, two of which have a second level of designs applied to them, mainly flowers and plants that intertwine on the female bodies. The third version is a more graphic execution of the basic design without further ornamental designs, of which all the edges are determined by the body contours of the female figures, with empty spaces in between.
The first version of ‘Three Graces’ was presented at the Florence Biennale of Contemporary Art (23-31 ottobre 2021). and has won the 'Lorenzo Il Magnifico' Prize, fourth place in the category 'textile art', awarded by an International Jury. This tapestry follows the basic design lay-out onto which a second level of ornamental designs is applied, especially on the female figures. The female figures are characterized by the use of very bright colours and they are portrayed against an off-white background with a concave form. The background is crisscrossed with lines of the same colour, created with curved knots, to see and not see, and these lines flow from one body to the other, creating an (in)visible bond.
Materials: wool, silk, mixed yarn, hand-tufted on cotton. Protective felt layer on the back.
Measure: 175 x 140 cm. Numbered artwork 37/2021