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Primordial Portraits

This series consists of four different types of masks, each of which is inspired by specific geographical areas in Europe, Africa, America and Oceania. The masks are made using different methods (slip-casting and 3D-printing) and glazes to resemble materials or decorative aspects typical to these cultures. 




The theme ‘Origins’ led me to retrace the past of my grandparents’ and parents’ lives who, having lived in a period of economic prosperity in Italy, had the opportunity to live in different countries in the most different corners of the globe: the United States, South Africa, Belgium, Australia, Brazil, and Morocco. 


Of all these experiences, one of the most present witnesses left in my native home in Rome are certainly the many, ancient and extravagant tribal masks collected between Africa and Australia.

I found in this highly descriptive object of a culture, of a society - the mask - a great potential for experimentation with ceramics.


I then took the four continents where my family lived and designed a mask for each of them, creating different samples for each type to leave ample space for the final chromatic testing. Taking as inspirations the decorations of the Native American masks, the fabrics of the Australian tribal masks, the wood, the engravings of the African ones and the metal of the Roman one, I created a different result in each mask to get closer to these characteristics.

Exposed at the exhibition WILD GARDEN 10.6.-20.8.2022, Glasshouse Gallery in Helsinki.

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