Dalle Guerra al Pensiero

Benedetta Segala Ghani
Dalle Guerra al Pensiero
Painted Wood and Metal
49cm (h) x 39cm (w) x 10cm (d)
2014

Written by Zoey Moo

From a young age, Benedetta Segala Ghani has always been fascinated by Greek philosophy, from which the concepts of “thesis”, “antithesis” and “synthesis” originate. Not only are these concepts involved in resolving conflicts; they can be seen as the basis of our thought process itself, whereby the thesis wrestles with an opposing antithesis, to negotiate and generate a synthesis.

In her artwork Dalle Guerra al Pensiero, or its English translation “From War to Thought”, these three concepts are represented by black and white as the thesis and antithesis respectively, and gray as the synthesis. For the artist, white implies visible light; it can also mean life or death, depending on the differing cultures. On the other hand, she describes black as the seed of life. It is strong and resilient, growing at unexpected times and in unexpected places, even from the depths of one’s soul.

This duality of life and death is poetically paralleled in her use of old wood pieces salvaged from the remains of a flood. Their torn, battered forms symbolises our daily struggles of war, be it internal or external. The white-painted wood accentuates the holes, nails and cracks painted in black – scars that were engraved by the environment and through time. The random appearances of the black amidst the white demonstrate how life can grow again even after destruction, wars and calamity.

From the chaos, Benedetta attempts to bring each element of the artwork together, balancing different tones, shapes, volumes and weights to create a harmonious whole. To reveal this balance, or “gray”, both black and the white, or life and death, are needed. Ultimately, Dalle Guerra al Pensiero embodies Benedetta’s wish for a restored world; a wish that humans can move away from brutality, and toward a state of balance, or synthesis.


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