Critical Texts

Isabella Del Guerra


Federica Cipriani is an artist who lives in symbiosis with her works, manifesting her very essence through them. She describes herself in these words: “I live art as a constant search for personal balance: colours, shapes, repetition and space, motion and stillness, free randomness and static rigour, everything is part of who I am.”
An artistic experience that began a few years ago with works featuring swarms of butterflies, symbols of the soul freed from the body, as if in a dialogue suspended between earth and the heavens, between what is human and what will become divine, dating as far back in time as the Ancient Greeks and Romans. In her early works, these small, light and harmonious insects were arranged in a constructed and controlled geometric space that limited their complete freedom of movement.
For some time now, for the artist, that “...everything is part of who I am” has derived from the dualism implicit in the non-opposing and, if anything, complementary dynamics of development.
Her research evolves and continues with an in-depth study of birds, of their flight, in relation to the wind and currents, of the combinations of patterns they create in the sky as they flock together to face the journey of migration. The chaos and freedom of flight are transformed into an order generated by the strong bonds created between the members of the flock (another contrast between order and chaos).
Nearly everyone in the world is fascinated by the incredible choreography that flocks of birds create in the sky: fast, seemingly random movements which actually trace remarkably precise and synchronised trajectories, coordinating with those of their neighbours. Every movement made by an individual bird affects the whole flock, just as the whole group affects each individual bird.
Here Cipriani tackles another dualism, freedom and interdependence, making it a metaphor for man, a being who lives as part of a society in which the individual retains their own distinctive characteristics while simultaneously abiding by the rules of the group.
The leitmotif of the artist's research is her use of paper, a fragile yet resistant material. While her early works were made of recycled paper or the pages of books, for the “Stormi” (Flocks) series, she paints the birds herself with oils: this allows her to draw on the harmony of colour in all its shades and to intervene with light and shade, just like in a painting.
The latest works take shape in the “Ali” (Wings) series, in which the artist tries her hand with a new material: metallic fabric, with characteristics of strength and lightness that allow her to completely free herself from the enclosure imposed by the support. This results in creations with a strong sculptural impact that symbolise an absolute desire for elevation and freedom.
(The young artist analyses the meaning of pairings such as chaos and order, motion and stillness).
Freedom and interdependence participate in the construction of light narratives within free but rigorous harmonies: Cipriani portrays flight as a metaphor of the desire that we all have to be part of a whole without having to relinquish our individual nature and identity.
Through her works, she encourages us to meditate using the characteristics and qualities of the subjects. If we know how to read them, flocks, flight and wings indicate and suggest a reflection on our role in society. Cohesion, mutual aid, trust in others and respect; these are the prerogatives that can be used to improve the world we live in.
In volo verso me” (In flight towards me) is about welcoming and being a vehicle for different, new ideas, treasuring other people's experiences in order to progress, accepting others and exploring new connections that bring innovation and positive change; all this provides the inspiration for society to improve, perfect and evolve.
Isabella Del Guerra, April 2022
Galleria Gagliardi-2022: solo exhibition by Federica Cipriani "In volo verso me" curated by Stefano Gagliardi