Walnut shells, gold leaf and lenticular photography, environment size, 2014


a myriad of walnut shells like tiny boats, aboard which are fragments of photographs, beached in the memory

Shipwrecked moments beached in the memory

Walnut shells floating like boats on distant seas, in the playful fantasies of children. Nutshells like maternal bellies, inside of which, guarded with motherly attention, the trace of a presence, this time discrete, almost impalpable: a series of small photographs, gently laid on gold leaf, with a hint of Byzantium, which contrasts with the elemental simplicity of the wooden host. The work reflects on the theme of memory, interpreting it as a personal rather than a collective experience, and fragmentary. It affects the viewer like an old nursery rhyme, the memory restoring meaning to life, even when it alights on something seemingly insignificant.

Content and container

Patiently hand-shelled nuts, for the most part freshly found and meticulously researched by the artist, who studied the skilful work of birds and squirrels in search of food. Inside some of the shells there was placed a super-thin layer of reflective gold leaf, lighting up the work with a luminosity that is particular to medieval altarpieces. Other shells are empty and others still contain very small lenticular photographs, fished from old family albums. Reprinted in much smaller dimensions, the photographs were cut to size and inserted into the shells. They are reminiscent of button-holes or the lenticular forms in the centre of marbles.

Shipwreck, work in space

This work is designed to be exhibited on a flat surface, be it the floor of a museum, the shoreline of a beach or even a dining room table with a white tablecloth stretched across it, recalling the culmination of a long, wholesome family lunch. In this way, the space receives the memories without actually containing them. The arrangement of the shells is not set in any rigorously formal way. Rather, the photographs are meant to be shipwrecked in the memory; golden-hued treasure, glinting, following a random algorithm, as random as if they were just thrown to the floor. When preparing for exhibitions, it was left to the will of a child to order containers and contents at their discretion.