Sforzo inutile / FUTILE EFFORT, 2018
graphite, adhesive tape, vetiver oil and beeswax and oil colour on paper
Originally focused on rituals as a form of escape and deception in the time of social media, during his artistic residency Stefan Spiteri’s project has changed direction. The young artist has conveyed his energy and interest in an attempt to interpret the landscape and its culture through the filter of his personal experience. An effort of greater relevance and consistency with the objectives of the artistic residency itself, the AMUSE project and the host context.
The outcome of his exploration of the territory consists of a graphite drawing and mixed technique on large paper, inspired by the observation of some specimens of aralia - an exotic ornamental plant of Japanese origin that the artist had previously seen in Australia – growing wild in a green area of Savigliano.
The work offers a representation of the territory created by extrapolating from the context a natural element, both familiar and exotic; capable of triggering a process of recognition and identification of the viewer, and suggesting at the same time a reflection on the dimension of ‘disorientation’ experienced by the artist. The work is also the result of a technical experimentation of virgin beeswax and essential oil of vetiver as pictorial media conducted at the residence. Their choice took place deliberately ‘randomly’ and must be interpreted coherently with the subject of his work, as an expression of his point of view on the context. The artist found those materials “Capable of conveying an unconventional multi-sensory representation” (olfactory and tactile, as well as visual).
The use of vetiver oil in this work seems to belong to the same attitude that drew Spiteri's attention to those aralia leaves. Obtained from a medicinal plant native to Asia, this oil has been among the main ingredients of perfumery and western cosmetics for centuries. The treatment of these materials proved to be particularly effective in relation to the location identified for his work, consisting of a collage of 50x70 scrap paper sheets joined by paper adhesive tape.
Stefan Spiteri was born in Mosta, in 1998. Student at the MCast Institute in Malta, he lives and works in Malta.