Sara Ricciardi | RITMO SABBA
On the occasion of SWING Design Gallery‘s opening of its new home in Palazzo Collenea Isernia, we are delighted to present RITMO SABBA, a solo exhibition by Sara Ricciardi. Ricciardi – among the most compelling contemporary designers on the international scene – stands out for her personal, narrative approach to her work, in which a performative dimension interplays with sophisticated material experimentation.RITMO SABBA was inspired by her fascination with a chapter from the history of the Samnite lands. Benevento, long haloed in mystery, has ancient roots with links to pagan culture and mystic rituals. Over the course of the centuries, the city was in turn Samnite, then Roman, then Lombard. In the latter period there existed a mystic pagan cult connected to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who bore characteristics of both the Roman moon goddess, Diana, and the goddess of the underworld, Hecate. Among these deities’ distinctive qualities were a strong feminine element and an equally strong connection to magic. From this cult emerged the figure of the Witch, known in Benevento as Janara. Ricciardi’s vision for the exhibition in SWING Design Gallery drew on this world.In particular, she conjures a scene that centers around the Noce di Benevento, the walnut tree on the banks of the Sabato River, around which the Janare gathered to celebrate rites of the Moon, fertility and mother earth. The focal point of the work is NOCE, an installation composed of vases made of brass and rose quartz that support the branches of that tree, a symbol of rebirth for the tree that was uprooted and banished with the advent of Christianity. SABBA music-boxes cast light and shadows of roots across two corners of the room, as though calling out to awaken the rhythm and joy of those long ago nights. CAVALLI – the seats placed around the tree – complete the choral tale; they are made out of iron and hand-painted ceramic, a reinterpretation of the San Lorenzello’s famed seventeenth-century tradition of maiolica. “The exhibit is meant as a tribute to magic, an invitation to remember an ancient, forgotten rhythm, that of pagan rituals tied to the land,” says Ricciardi. “Like at a night festival, with fireworks and Lombard horses, it’s meant as an invitation to all to come back to dance and invoke. It’s a call to reawaken, to the place I love and where I was born.” All of the works on display were produced exclusively for SWING Design Gallery. Thanks to Elvio Sagnella of Bottega Giustiniani, San Lorenzello. The soundtrack is by Alfredo Donisi.