Re-found objects

AD (Italy) - - Storie. -

IN A HOU­SE VERY CLOSE TO THE SEA IN CA­TA­NIA, A SICILIAN AR­TI­ST/ARTISAN LIVES, IMAGINES AND CREATES. TRANSFORMING HER PASSION FOR “EXPERIENCED” THINGS INTO WORK.

words ELE­NA DALLORSO – pho­tos FI­LIP­PO BAMBERGHI

By chan­ce, as they say. But it was real­ly by chan­ce that Ste­fa­nia Boe­mi, 43 years old, from Ca­ta­nia, phy­sio­the­ra­pi­st by pro­fes­sion, be­gan – about a year and a half ago – to prac­ti­ce a se­cond, “play­ful” pro­fes­sion based on beau­ti­ful objects she creates to gi­ve new li­fe to old things: dolls, cry­stals, ho­ly pic­tu­res, la­ce, Sicilian pup­pe­ts. The fir­st suc­cess was one of her moor’s heads, ty­pi­cal of the re­gio­nal tradition, but mo­no­chro­me in her per­so­nal in­ter­pre­ta­tion, or pain­ted wi­th very mo­dern pat­terns. An ar­chi­tect from Stu­dio Lis­so­ni saw it and bought it for the re­stau­rant the firm was de­si­gning for Fi­lip­po La Man­tia in Mi­lan (where Ste­fa­nia Boe­mi now has a who­le cor­ner, as well as her on­li­ne spa­ce at the Ar­te­me­st.com plat­form of Ip­po­li­ta Ro­sta­gno). She de­ci­ded to shift to a part-ti­me job, transforming her ho­me at the port of San Gio­van­ni Li Cu­ti (a vil­la­ge in the ci­ty cen­ter) into an ate­lier. «I bought it in 2004, and it took a year to re­no­va­te the pla­ce, whi­ch had been in a sta­te of aban­don», Boe­mi says. «It is a “ter­ra­na” hou­se from the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry, wi­th one le­vel, in­de­pen­dent, and an out­door spa­ce wi­th a ter­ra­ce, a ci­stern, a gar­den and th­ree cel­lars in vol­ca­nic sto­ne. This spa­ce full of fruit trees, bor­de­ring on other wild gar­dens, was a de­ci­si­ve fac­tor for the pur­cha­se. The rooms are all com­mu­ni­ca­ting and ar­ran­ged in a cir­cle, asym­me­tri­cal, wi­th hi­gh vaul­ted cei­lings, fa­cing the ter­ra­ce and the gar­den». The architecture and near­ly all the fi­ni­shes ha­ve been left in­tact, sim­ply re­sto­ring them in kee­ping wi­th the lo­cal craf­ts tradition, li­ke the floors wi­th co­lo­red com­po­si­te ti­les ma­de wi­th pie­ces of mar­ble. Other fea­tu­res ha­ve been crea­ted to be “plau­si­ble”, li­ke the ma­jo­li­ca in the kit­chen, ma­de by hand by a lo­cal craf­tsman wi­th the mo­tifs of an an­ti­que Sicilian bed­spread che­ri­shed by the ow­ner. «I didn’t want to ruin the ty­pi­cal charm of an old hou­se, of an epo­ch that now seems very di­stant from our rea­li­ty. I lo­ve hou­ses wi­th en­cru­sted walls, vi­brant wi­th the sto­ries of other lives, other ex­pe­rien­ces», Ste­fa­nia Boe­mi says. And she gi­ves new li­fe and new iden­ti­ty to objects, ta­king them apart, mi­xing them, wi­th in­cre­di­ble ma­nual skill: ham­mocks and big or­na­men­tal cu­shions ma­de wi­th an­ti­que bed­spreads, chan­de­liers com­po­sed of other lamps, wi­th the ad­di­tion of hand­pain­ted cry­stals and vo­ti­ve objects. Her heads are ma­de in pain­ted clay, wi­thout the tra­di­tio­nal fi­red gla­ze.

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