Giuliana Silvestrini's Open Studio

Materia e pietre/map n.8, detail

Materia e pietre/map n.8, detail

Alberta Piazza and Giuliana Silvestrini present MATERIA CRUDA, a series of works inspired by raw clay, elaborated on papers, canvases, sculptures, casts.


The recognition of the limit as a possibility

By Giuliana Silvestrini

 My work is articulated and developed on the theme of "clay" as an archaic relation existing between man / world / nature. Crete, earth, matter and place where the most ancient experiences are concentrated, where traces are left, borders are overcome, steps are taken to discover the elsewhere. The theme is declined with various languages, from video to painting, to engraving on clay.

The video entitled: Con-tatti, with an attitude that looks at the performance, investigates the close relationship between the body and the earth. The clay spread on my own body becomes a metaphor of re-construction, destruction, death and rebirth, but also a process of self-construction, the result of stratification, a profound blend of experiences and emotions experienced. The elements of earth, fire, water and air relate to man, penetrating one another in a mirage of inseparable unity. The clay element rich in meanings and properties and the process of its transformation into terracotta in the encounter with fire, tells of man's actions and interventions on nature.

Small fragments of terracotta engraved with "landscapes" of signs document the "places of memory".

Cards painted with mixed colors in clay earth draw a shape that ideally encloses the mapping of the world. The traces, crossing lines, which run through the shape refer to the migration routes of man in the world.

The intent in this pictorial work is to express the concept of a map as territory, boundary, limit, but also an inner place that distinguishes us, that we defend from the other, the stranger, the stranger. Here are our subjective and collective fears emerging in a chaos of discordant emotions that intertwine, solidify to represent the impediment, the obstacle with the consequent closure. Impossibility of a broad vision able to welcome and experience the knowledge of the other.


In a world troubled by conflicts, wars and increasing inequality, subjective emotions rise again more than ever. The woman / man no longer only being rational is in contact with his own impulses and emotions such as fear, anxiety, aggression. It is therefore a vulnerable and fragile subject that creates mental and psychological precurses that sink into primitive and primordial instinct. We look for anchors of salvation and irrational support, we pay attention to dreams and we rely on the signs that we incidentally find on our path. We create a "pantheon" of symbols, cult objects, archaic talismans that accompany us in our lives protecting us from difficulties.

From this context arises the need to leave, describing it, an experience to be transmitted: through the spontaneity of the gesture of coloring the natural element (here is the link with the clay-earth) and that refers to pictorial gestures that reconstruct its own earthly world and spiritual. The same process of reproduction and transfiguration that we find in prehistoric caves, natural sanctuaries of humanity. Where perhaps man was "spiritual" before being "sapiens".

THE EARTH the clay as color

The central element of this series of works is raw clay, worked on papers and canvases, mixed with pigments and gypsum, used as color collects its experience of transmitting that heritage of dreams, memories, obsessions of our daily life.

THE STONES amotets - apotropaic talismans

The symbolic amulets I represent here as stones collected and collected come from clay to seal the bond that unites me with the Mother-Earth. These are elements that often take on the same function as a dream or a memory, able to ward off, remove or cancel, as in fairy tales or mythological stories. And that historical memory refers.