Terra, in 1995, saw the beginning of the artistic career of Denis Imberti, who, along with Mauro Quattoni and Stefano Tasca, formed the group Seme (Seed) in 2001. Their ceramic creations have a particular quality, in that they can be blown to play a sound, reviving the the popular ancient tradition of terracotta whistles. They bring together the arts of music (Apollo) and sculpture (Dionysus), without creative concern or prejudice towards form, use or size, in an art medium which, in comparison to painting or sculpture, represents a more genuine form of expression, uncontaminated or influenced by technical study, almost an innocent primordial voice of childlike simplicity. An art form which for decades has been wrongly overlooked, or moreover considered a simple toy, a small object of little value, something which you might buy for a child or girlfriend at a local fĂȘte.

However, as numerous archaeologists and ethnologists will testify, this breath of life, moulded in clay and hardened in fire, a symbol in itself of divine creation, which has been found again and again, from east to west, north to south, in all corners of the planet, is as ancient as mankind itself. To name just a few, European examples: small whistles have been found in children's tombs dating back to Ancient Greece; in England, whistle were imbedded inside the hoods of chimneys to keep away evil spirits; and in Baveria between the 18th and 19th centuries, whisltes were placed inside babies' cots after baptism, as a form of protection.

Imitation of animal voices, a hunting cry, a primordial flute, a ritual, in the collective unconscious, of sexual fertility, with profound symbology of remotest origins. These artistic experiments with the regeneration of sound and form should not, however, be mistaken for a static, uncritical reflection of an idealized past, as a call for a longed-for return to traditional values. Rather, they should present the essential idea, without either denying, or heavily emphasising, the fundamental value of its roots (contrary to a a present which, as in art, is ever more immaterial, celebral and falsely immortal). It must start from the senses, and first of all with manual work: not delegating tasks to other people, and then later shamelessly passing off work that you haven't done yourself, and don't even know how to do, as your own, creating a shield for the presumed superior intellectual world against that of the manual, as the logic of business marketing or showbusiness rhetoric would have it, claasifying anything which doesn't bring revenue as a hobby or pastime. Instead, creating that indefineable something which, like art, in its true form, is impossible to live without, but at the same time grips you with maniacal jealousy, in competition with any other passion that takes a hold on your time.
Every beginning, by its very nature, must have an end. The seed, too, has its own destiny: it has to burst and to sprout. The English word, Sprout, the name of this new group formed in 2007 by Denis Imberti and Stefano Tasca, was chosen for the simple reason that it can communicate to a wider public, but also for its symbolic meaning: we have noted an artistic cycle of 7 years, evolving both in name and nature, perhaps developing, in the future, into shrubs, bushes or trees, then possibly returning, whilst renewing and preserving some qualities, depending on time and hardships, to our origins.

The tasks of moulding and painting clay, as with all other aspects of planning and running the project, are shared equally, and carried out will the same degree of skill, by the two members of the group; there is no division of roles into manager and manual worker. We first construct the flute-sculptures, as Galileo did with his instruments, only afterwards reflecting on their possible use and significance (rather than the other way round, which often inhibits creativity). Ceramics are among the most ancient examples of artistic expression, after rock graffiti, to be discovered and preserved; so many splendid bronzes, and other metallic sculptures, are now lost to us today because they were often melted down to be sold, or otherwise made into weaponry during wartime. Despite the notion held, until now, that ceramics are a base material, used for kitchenware or minor artwork - compared to an oil painter or sculptor in marble, the ceramic worker is held in the same esteem of an artisan rather than an artist - the production of ceramics, nevertheless, has a huge range of applications and possibile uses, both actual and theoretical. From educational workshops for children, development in mobility skills for the less able-bodied, to collaboration with designers and architects; ceramics can be used for internal furnishings - not just as ornaments, but as functional sculptures such as stoves, coverings for electrical fittings, paving, lamps, etc, each item rigorously unique, objects which cannot be reproduced. Conscious choices are made in their design; ceramic artists can be inspired to create, for example, zoomorphic, phytomorphic, anthropomorphic or mechanical forms, the microcosm mirroring the macrocosm. Ceramic sculptures appear in gardens, with their resistance to atmospheric conditions, or on roundabouts, often with some kind of symbolic connection to the local area. And finally, the simple, but by no means less important, exhibitions of ''cuchi'' (''whistles'', in Veneto dialect), and installations of musical sculptures.

© SPROUT ARTE - Denis Imberti - Cell. 340.16.17.577 - Stefano Tasca - Cell. 333.40.59.881 - www.sproutarte.it - info@sproutarte.it

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