contemporary art / history of art

Rossana Taormina

Born in 1972 in Partanna, Sicily, Italy, Rossana Taormina studied fine arts in Palermo, after a work stay in Rome. Since 2011, she exclusively pursues her artistic career. Since then, she participated in many group shows and had several solo exhibitions. First, she was mostly on view in Sicily, but by the time, she enlarged her radius with exhibitions all over Italy and abroad, for example in Greece, Spain and the United States. Lately, Rossana’s creations were presented in several solo exhibitions, for example in December 2021 in Modica (Futuro remoto); from February to April 2022 in Cernobbio (Le Chronache del Filo Bianco) and in May 2022 the gallery Lo Magno Arte Contemporanea took older and most recent works to the Bologna Arte Fiera.

Moreover, national and international magazines dedicated articles to her oeuvre or published interviews with her, among others La Repubblica (Italy), Vogue Living (Australia) and Beaux Arts Magazine (France). The last one mentioned her work in occasion of the publication of Charlotte Vannier’s book “From Thread to Needle”, where the author presents various artists in art history and contemporary art working with embroidery.

However, Rossana’s oeuvre is far from being reduced to embroidery. Certainly, she works with threads and fabric, but she is also using various materials and techniques. Frequently, found objects are the starting point in her creations. She embroiders at flea markets discovered photos from unknown people or adds elements to ancient maps and nautical charts. Old negatives from photos are likewise included as leaves or ancient textiles. Sometimes, the artist’s research guides her to take a canvas into town and to depict urban elements by frottage, like in the series “superficie” (surface) from 2015. One of these works, “superficie #3” is our artwork of the month of September 2022.

Rossana’s artistic practice is strongly influenced by the experience of her early life. One of her first contact with artworks, was the construction of the “spazio utopico di Gibellina” close to her native town. For the reconstruction of the city of Gibellina, the – at that time mayor – Ludovico Corrao called renown artists to help building a great museum en plein air, by contributing artworks for the public space in the 1970s.

This reconstruction became necessary because of the devastating earthquake in the Valley of Belice in 1968. Many people were killed or injured. The towns and villages had been strongly damaged, if not destroyed in January of the year, Rossana’s hometown included. 100.000 people got homeless. Even nine years later, many of the habitants still lived in temporary accommodation. In consequence, the future artist experienced the sentiment of loss in her urban and social environment. Hence, she developed a kind of obsessions for memory; the found objects in her artworks are an expression of it. With them, she conserves the souvenir of anonymous existences, giving them a new space. When she is working with photos and objects from unknown persons, she is keeping the necessary emotional distance. Whereas she uses for her works with fabric, if possible, textiles coming from her own family. In her series “superficie”, she reflects on traces, the human existence left in urban space. Thereby her artistic practice is based on remembrance, in personal, social and cultural point of view. It is a research of a bygone time.

Rossana lives and works in Palermo.

Instagram: @rossana.taormina


Artwork of the Month / September 2022