|"Mela Insana" 2016|
A mosaic is a conversation between what is broken. — Terry Tempest Williams
With the exception of the tornado and a few line work details, I created this piece in its entirety by stitching small squares, and variations of the square, to evoke mosaic tile art. I consider "Mela Insana" to be a natural evolution of my some of my earlier thread pieces that utilize the square as a design element as well as my glass tile mosaic sculptures.
I originally titled this piece "Aubergine" in reference to the dark color of the tornado and in the figure's dress, but because this piece is based on Raphael's painting "Elisabetta Gonzaga", 1504-06, I thought the Italian word for eggplant would be more appropriate. I discovered the name "Mela Insana", ("bad apple") which was folk-etymologized* from the Italian melanzana. I liked this play on the word and how it relates to the visual metaphor of the tornado. As an aside, Raphael also designed mosaics, most notably his ‘Creation of the World' in the dome of the Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome, executed around 1516.
The landscape on the left side represents the past and its relatively untouched natural world. The right side represents an unknown future, with a tornado that symbolizes constricted energy containing the potential for both great destruction and expansive awareness.