« Aura Agricola » is a series of 5 wood assemblages on which we can read names, numbers, branding, and addresses from various European countries are left visible (Italy, Spain, France).
This series emerged in France, during the context of the first Covid Lockdown, and was born from a structural curiosity with an aim to blend the painting process with the construction of the painting surface.
During lockdown, French citizens were allowed walks, within one kilometer and for one hour only, I began to collect the crates in the streets near my house. These paintings are made out of collected wood from dismantled food crates; used, and re-used to transport fruits and vegetables from farming exploitations to homes, via food markets.
The brandings displayed give an indication of their origin, and often goes together with subtitles ; i.e : « Aura Agricola : Il Buono Dall’ Otro » which from translates from Italian into « Agricultural Aura : The Good from the Garden » or « Andra Tutto Bene » meaning « Everything is gonna be alright ».
A process of deconstruction exists prior to the construction of the painting process. The removal of all staples holding the crates together reveals the marks of their impact, in the chronological rhythm of their
construction. The process of assemblage is a structural one; the painting surface constructs itself in a quasi architectural manner. The function of each element is primarily to hold the piece together allowing the visible to emerge only once the assemblage is complete.
The names that appear on them belong to people that have been part of that chain, probably the intermediary or final recipient of the content of the crates. Some of those names belongs to neighbors of mine, whom I have never met. One name even belongs to someone I have been to school with. The appearance of handwritten names in the works, as well as numbers and scribbles, humanizes the works, anchoring it into reality.
In Aura Agricola I, II and III, all visual elements result from the materials themself, their use in the human chain, while in Aura Agricola IV and V, my own interventions take place, in an attempt of celebration and highlight.
Bleedings, remains of dirt, grass, scribbles; these stripes of wood hold the history of their passage from hand to hand. My aim in putting them together has been to extract the emotional charge lying in their aura. In the period of the making, while everyone was locked at home, they were a symbol of those human chains that are strongly in place and carrying us all.