ELISA BERTAGLIA and ANNA TURINA
Curated by Chiara Serri and Arianna Beretta
Date: April 10th 2015/June 14th 2015
Opening: April 10th 2015 @6PM
“Then, all of a sudden you’re fifty
and what’s left of your childhood
fits in a rusty little box”
Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain
Anna Turina’s imaginary does not let us indifferent. Her work and iron sculptures bring us back to the golden age. The childhood that we all miss and where we all want to go back. Someone sweetly, someone gloomily as they know they had forever lost their innocence and happiness.
Dreamily we approach birdcages inhabited by tiny beds with bars or chairs where plants bloom, sure to get into a fantasy world. Gnomes and fairies, who inhabit the same world, will show us the way to discovery and growth. Small objects hovering over unstable equilibrium within solid geometric irony structures. We feel to be in front of a safe home environment, where nothing ever happens. And we get excited by the vibrations of our soul to the wonder that Anna Turina’s sculptures arouse.
But let’s move on. We look with our eyes – and hearts – at the profile of her creations. How happy were we when we were children? Was our childhood frustrations-free? Did we have imposed but really never accepted rules? Might prohibitions have prevented our real evolution towards adulthood? Anna Turina, working on the ambiguity of an apparent pacifier vision, shows how our personal growth should (necessarily? This is the big question) go through constraints, rules to follow, broken promises and broken dreams. So the cages have been opened and torn apart to leave dreams and hopes flee away. That little house of our childhood is perhaps no longer that golden cage we remembered. The rocking horse becomes an insurmountable obstacle, a peak to be reached through hard work and commitment. And who knows if we get there. You need to have the courage to read the work and the poetry of Anna Turina.
The courage to look at yourself, your own “primordial” history, to realize that growing up was a path. Full of obstacles put by the same family environment that forced and tied us to daily necessities and contingency. Therefore, is there no hope? Yes, hope exists in our minds of mature adults and we are aware that, struggling every day, we experience what Georges Bernanos stated: “Once childhood is gone, we must suffer a very long way to go back to it”.
FOLLOWING THE BLUE BIRD
In the famous play of the Belgian comedy writer Maurice Maeterlinck, Nobel Prize for Literature in 1911, The Blue Bird embodies the mysteries of nature and life. Source of numerous film adaptations, including The Blue Bird of Walter Lang (1940), starring Shirley Temple, the féerie tells the initiatory journey of two brothers pursuing «the secret of things and of happiness». Symbol of hope for Hesiod, imprisoned at the bottom of Pandora’s box after the leakage of all evils, as Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy tells in her story which inspired Maeterlinck, L’Oiseau bleu becomes synonymous with metamorphosis and transformation. These themes are dear to the Venetian artist Elisa Bertaglia (Rovigo, 1983) who called Bluebirds one of her collections of works. This artistic production on paper A4 and A5 marks the beginning of the collaboration with Martina Corbetta, which continues in a solo exhibition at Banca Sistema in Milan.
Again Elisa Bertaglia shows some unpublished works, together with new works from the Driftwood collection (2015), the monumental triptych from which the eponymous cycle was born. She established a good cooperation with Anna Turina. Since her Academy years, nature is the focus of Elisa Bertaglia’s work. Through the study of classical texts and memories from Polesine, it offers a dreamy and visionary interpretation. They are small and large compositions built from a personal repertoire consolidated over time. Her work, in fact, is full of human figures, animals and fragments of landscape carrying a strong symbolic value. She depicts children with concealed faces as an allusion to universal. Wolves, herons and snakes as a metaphor for protection, instinct and constraint. Rocks and leaves are the last footholds of a fluid universe where above and below do not exists, where everything can have its double. The loss of the horizon line often causes dramatic falls. While in the past the artist worked only on paper, focusing more on the mark rather than the colour and creating small size pieces to be included in wall compositions, in the two series exhibited in Seregno you can notice some interesting changes. On one hand she adopts the “pictorial” solution for water and stars landscapes with shades of blue and green (Bluebirds), on the other hand she pays attention to the mise-en-scène (Driftwood), also regarding the figures deploying on the sheet and technical innovations from her recent experiments on canvas.
Proportions change as well as materials and colour balances, what remains the same is the weave of rare poetry that has always distinguished Elisa Bertaglia’s work, echo of a fantasy world, a magical-religious dimension woven with archetypes, myths and legends.
This post is also available in: Italian