A Sculptor’s Panegyric on Ceramic Pangea

The art and sculpture of Luciana Bertorelli has evolved in grandeur of expression while maintaining a theme that has been within her throughout her artistic life – a theme of describing through her art the inner self of mankind, art that comes from her soul, art of the Ceramic Pangea.

Luciana expresses herself in sculpture with a variety of forming materials and techniques as well as different finishing materials such as glazes, slips and engobe. She has often applied Raku techniques involving quenching the work directly from red heat in a reducing atmosphere, a technique that yields sometimes surprising colours and textures depending on the surface coating.

Pangea, the name of the supercontinent, is derived from the two roots Pan and Gaia, in which Gaia means Mother Earth. Luciana started her affair with small Gaia (Pangea) where she developed her feeling for colour, shape and balance. The first grand Pangea was the Red Pangea (PANGEA ROSSA) which had a long pregnancy while Luciana grappled with the images coming in her mind until she understood that this project must be her panegyric, a dedication to Mother Earth, to Gaia.

The Red Ceramic Pangea is the smallest of six resultant grand Pangee and it is the model parent for the others. This figure is of a squatting mother with the bulk being below the waste who carries on her back a small child, Mankind, in a rucksack. She rests her elbows on her knees and her hands cover her face in an instinctive gesture of protection, or maybe withdrawal. The red colouration represents a paradox of both a cry of pain, the colour of blood and violence, contradicted by the power of Love.

Following display of this first grand Ceramic Pangea in Gubbio in 2013, Luciana was encouraged to complete her primordial Pangee series.

Fire Pangea carries a volcano on her back, emitting lava and red-hot ashes, symbolizing the immense riches contained in Earth’s depths: gold, silver, platinum, precious gems and perpetual heat; all stolen by Man without any consideration or respect. The colours of this Pangea change from black to ochre and gold.

Water Ceramic Pangea is a young woman who carries on her shoulders a large amphora in which her long hair falls forming a fluid cascade – the water, seas, rivers… in a series of turquoise, blue, and aqua greens. Her uplifted big toes suggest lightness and sensuality.

Rocky Ceramic Pangea is rosy, changing its colors as do the river stones, with faded reds and a patina of light moss. Her rucksack is bulging, filled with heavy rocks that form their own sculpture shape.

Floral Pangea has one of the hands over her face hidden by a flower that covers it almost completely. Her rucksack carries flowers and leaves that appear as carved in the stone, gently softened from the bright red and orange colors flashing on her surface and spread along her neck.

Air Pangea is the ultimate, dominating all the others in dimensions. Her legs and knees are closely joined; a tendency for upward movement is suggested by her head inclined toward her left. The feet are bigger, solidly resting on the ground. The hair chignon is wrapped in veils that hide the rustling from the many birds flowing out of the rucksack and perched on her.

Each Ceramic Pangea has a hole in each ears allowing observation of the play between the empty and solid spaces contained inside the works. The six Pangee are all in the same position, sitting with face covered and each carrying her own different aspect of the riches that Earth offers to mankind.

Luciana attests that the Pangee ensemble represents a scream of pain from Mother Earth: a scream that compels to be heard! Only a female artist could be able to understand the pain of Mother Earth.

To know more: www.lucianabertorelli.com