Text of Badia Lost & Found soc. coop.
Photos by Carlo Arcidiacono
A new artwork was born for the promotion of the territory of Lentini, wanted and promoted by the cooperative Badia Lost & Found, supported by the Municipality of Lentini, by the companies Decor Center Vacante, for the supply of all the pictorial material useful for covering the total of 285 square meters, and Oranfrizer, thanks to which the artist’s transfer to Sicily was made possible. A project that has seen a strong synergy with the associations of the area: the Pro Loco of Lentini, the Cultural Association “Melograno”, the A.N.C. section of Lentini, with the patronage of INWARD national observatory for urban creativity.
The artist in residence this time is Mauro Patta, a Sardinian artist from Atzara, 35 years old. His style is halfway between classic Sardinian fresco muralism and contemporary street art. Passionate about traditions and popular folklore, he aims at stimulating the memories of the elderly and making young people discover their roots, allowing them to learn about the history and traditions of their land. This is the case of an artist consistent with the philosophy of “Lost & Found”, for the delivery of a long-lost cultural and iconographic baggage.
The work comes to life on the three floors of the school complex of the former monastery of Lentini, in the Badia district. A vital space not only for the cultural life of the aforementioned associations, but for the whole city and its visitors, given the height and width of the work.
Structured like a diptych, the painting pays homage to the agricultural roots that have characterized the territory of Lentini till today, characterized by the farming of citrus goves and of oranges in particualr, which continue to be a precious resource for the territory as one of the products of excellence, a source of pride for Sicily and its inhabitants.
On the left façade there are references to Sicilian majolica, a patchwork of green filigree decorations on which oranges and leaves emerge, on the right a young peasant woman, dressed in typical Sicilian traditional clothes, crowned by a section of an orange “moro” variety, a Sicilian excellence with red pigmentation, a typical allegory of health and the battle to prevent cancer. It is not a coincidence that the artist’s residence and the completion of the work has occurred in the month of October, the month dedicated to the prevention of breast cancer.
The central part is the figurative one, occupied by the woman who, like a Mother Goddess, metaphorically collects in her clothes the prosperity of the earth, the fields of Lentini and Catania, for centuries “fertilized” by lava ashes. There is therefore a double analogy: the femininity of the volcano Etna with the figure of the woman and the red pulp of the orange with the volcanic lava.
The northern view of Patta’s artwork is not accidental but determines the title chosen by the artist: “Ethnika”, from the Greek ethnikós “people” or “fusion of different elements”, hence the Etna topos.