“Mimetic Transmutation”
Exhibition by Carla Sello
Centre d’Art, Citadines
22nd December / 2nd January

From mandala to plastic…

Carla Sello, Aurovilian artist from Italy, used to be called “The woman of mandala”. And for good reason…She dedicated heart, soul and years to the making of mandalas, sometimes even in an obsessive kind of way. She recalls not eating and sleeping for long periods of time. Though, in Italy, the mandala is not really recognised as art, she kept at it, finding opportunities to exhibit and do numerous workshops not only in her home country but all over the world. An art teacher at the National Academy of Lecce, Italy, she bravely challenged the traditional concept of art.

Now, how did this artist go from the universal, simple, strong concept of mandala to a chaotic love affair with plastic? And in this paradox of order and disorder, how does she propose the idea that the common point in this revolution is nature?

Mandala means order, it is used when you are in conflict with yourself in order to see clearly. It also uses both parts of the brain to create balance. By melting plastic and transforming it into amazing pieces of contemporary art, she breaks all the rules of mandala making. There are no more lines, no more figures, no squares, no circles, all disappear into a nothingness of colours and shapes. From the order and precision of the mandala one goes into loosing oneself by just imagining whatever one wants, with the mind wavering according to the sensation of the splashing colours.

Experimenting with plastic, like an alchemist would turn base metal into gold, she invents a new technique by simply melting all kind of plastics into beautiful art. The amazing thing about it is that she does not add anything, neither color nor texture, she just melts material and expresses her feeling and vibrancy into the art work.

As for the common point being nature, she intertwines the mind and the material in a surrealistic kind of way, hypothesizing that in mandala she uses natural material like woods, pyrography, airbrush, acrylic painting, sand, stones, leaves and that with melted plastic, one can imagine and see the natural inside.

In this “Mimetic Transmutation” allegory, 33 paintings, one video and one sculpture are exhibited. The brightness of colours, the innovative technique, as well as the unique 3 dimensional concept of the sculpture, will trigger questions, provoke reactions and tease creativity.

A revolutionary and an explorer, Carla Sello wants to experiment with other material like paper and fabrics. For now, she enjoys using this plastic technique. In my opinion, from an art teacher and mandala maker, Carla has become an art alchemist, and, since I feel that giving pleasure to the eyes is one of the highest values in this world, I would say Carla simply makes history……art history.

Chana Corinne Devor for AV Art Service