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Federica Soncini



Elisabetta Fontana's work is born of a deep seated need to express and reformulate her emotions. Her paintings are a continuous emotional and material explosion leading back to an unconscious age-old force linked to the origins of time and creation itself: it is the big bang of cosmic energy, the primordial element from which the internal universe of all emotions stems. They are cosmic paintings, Elisabetta's.
Her relationship with the materials and the use of mixed techniques is fundamental: the artist-demiurge creates her own world by manipulating clay, the primordial magma at the origin of everything transmitting infinite emotions: you start with a creative idea which gradually evolves and transforms in perfect synergy with the material used: the idea seeps into it, gets lost and is transformed. Clay (like an uncontaminated state of mind which moulds itself around the emotions which invade it) requires a slow and gradual technical process, where the work goes through a rather long "gestation" period alongside the emotional and internal processing of the subject being represented. Skilful and delicate use of varnishes and modelling clays is, on the other hand, fruit of a deep knowledge matured by professional experience which Elisabetta gained as a "nail artist". On the other hand, the use of gold leads directly to the divine matrix which permeates everything, reconnecting with light, an element which is always present in all her works.
The result is material paintings, dense with inner life, passages of the soul and the mind which follow step by step the alchemic transformation of the elements used: Elisabetta's art is not only a purely formal act, but the fruit of a careful and accurate analysis leading her to an in-depth search for the essence of things, to then reconnect with the origin of everything. Probing the tortuous passages of the soul and translating them into a careful working of the materials, her creations seem to transmit her own personal experiences and elevating them: this is how the inner workings of the soul develop and evolve.
Here is her art, experienced as a completion and extension of her own being, becoming a mindful "artistic therapy" where wounds, moods, emotions emerge and, reformulated, are "treated" through careful and accurate work on the material used, to achieve the necessary, albeit inevitable, transformation of the material and the deepest recesses of the soul.

Intima-Mente is an artistic, and inner, project reflecting personal experience and a reformulation of her own emotions, where art becomes the fundamental process in the therapy of "treating" and healing wounds of the soul and reordering the mind. It is a cathartic and liberating moment for the artist, releasing pure freedom of creation and expression - deep and primordial instincts without preconceived limits and constraints. The soul finally finds its way in this freedom of expression, free to discover herself and reach, without fear, her own essence, liberating herself from all emotions and conventions. Light and dark spaces are probed with balance and a certain awareness.
Intima-Mente (Inti-Mentally)is a play on words and also of the soul, not afraid to probe into its depths and face her own abysses and the reasons for her being, courageously displaying her infinite and necessary contradictions.
Elisabetta's artistic motivation is born from a great passion for art. During Umbria Jazz, the artist discovered the work of Alberto Burri at the "Burri Foundation" in Città di Castello, which stimulated her to go deeper into the question of reworking materials: the organic and formal reality of clays, the burnishing and the sacks call out irresistibly in Elisabetta's soul, almost a sign of long sought belonging, now found. The need for expression which emerges from all these materials drive her to a personal and heartfelt creative desire to express herself and her world: the process of creation has begun.
Here, among Burri's "wounds", reminiscent of his medical training, are those of Elisabetta's soul with which she identifies deeply. The burning lead back to internal torment. A creative process starts for her, leading her to re-read material on Burri and research materials, organic and inert, and continue transformations. Like a great artist, her work will become reflect her existence and be free of external influence: this, married with her artisan's ability to conceive this work as a continuous and constant experiment on the reality of her own experiences.
Elisabetta's works are in mixed technique: materials such as sand, earth, clay, resin, oil, acrylic and varnishes blend in chromatic union.

November 2008
Federica Soncini
(Journalist and Art Critic)


This work signals an important creative, as well as spiritual, passage for the artist: a material and technical evolution in step with her inner maturity and awareness. Once again, Elisabetta's art and experimentation lead to a process of catharsis and personal reflection.
After various attempts, Elisabetta has found an unusual and innovative way of harmoniously mixing Arte Povera and resin achieving a satisfying material with effective visual and aesthetic impact. When Elisabetta changes, experiments with and creates - as in this case - a new technique, she changes something within herself.
The soul/clay which surfaces in earlier work, in perennial conflict with the emotions she was facing, assumes a material consistency which is more in harmony with her world. Conflict seems to have left space to the interplay between emotions and life, a continuous flow of material and chromatic experimentation.
Clay , symbolic of Elisabetta's soul, is a rich and primordial magma which draws us back to the origins of life, and worked innovatively, assumes the appearance and shape of a healed wound which Mother Earth, here the Pacha Mama invoked by the Shaman. Reworking the material becomes an integral part of the process of transforming personal experiences and the development of her painting.
This is what happens: experiments with materials and colours lead her to a continuous and deep reworking and intimate look at herself, good or bad. Only by probing the deepest recesses of the soul and the material, experimenting with it and with herself can she rise to the beauty of the light/gold and achieve order, almost in an unconscious therapeutic process and a continuous catharsis and healing process from her own "chromatic emotions ". This is how Elisabetta's art becomes almost "shamanic" using the four elements plus one, the Fifth, for her very personal but public healing, offered up altruistically in her paintings. Those who come into contact with her work and art don't only look at it, they are exposed in turn to another vision: a mirror reflection of themselves and their own emotional state.
Like a mirror reflecting back emotions, ours, which perhaps have been buried for too long, within us, perhaps without us ever having had the courage to identify them and free ourselves of them - Elisabetta has managed to do it and this is the fulcrum of her art. So, take care at what you look at, and what you may see ………..

November 2009
Federica Soncini
Art Critic

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