Life is short and fragile, yet it continues on in a cycle of birth and death. Nature really is a wonderful thing. The seasons taking taking the nature around us through this cycle yearly. We start in the spring, with new life rising from the earth and follow it through summer to an abundance of blooms and fruits, then autumn as things start to fade and finally winter when everything has retreated and the scenery looks desolate. It then all starts again. Seasons are fleeting, but the cycle is eternal.
Mazzoni shows the balance of nature and Sicilian legend beautifully in his art work. which at first glance might look beautifully odd, with the eyeless woman surrounded by flowers and birds, but his work is seeped in symbolism and legend.
The foliage faces in his work represent the legends of Janas and Cogas, mythical fairy like creatures which were either benevolent or evil.
Janas are small winged women, who dress in red and can transform themselves in to witches. They can be both good and evil. According to legend, every new born was assigned a Janas to look over them and dependent on if you got a good or bad one was dependent of how fortunate you were. Janas have the ability to emit a blinding light. Cogas were vamperic hag like creatures sent to kill male babies and drink their blood.
Mazzoni’s artwork weaves a world based on these women, which we know were really probably just herbalist who were accused of witchcraft. His work acting as a homage to these women and their healing knowledge, forced to hide away in fear of being persecuted. Beautifully drawn images which show the fragility of nature juxtaposed with its own cycle and infinity.
The cyclical form of the work alludes to the cycle of nature, and the plants used have medicinal properties. The hummingbirds continuing to feed from the flowers. The woman’s face is missing the eyes and replaced by white light, bringing the work back to being a representation of a Janas. the face emerges from the flowers as though it has been hidden. Her sexuality and knowledge unseen in fear of the bigotry of the time.
I find the use of hummingbirds in this piece particularly interesting. The humming birds wing when it flaps, moves in the same shape as the infinity symbol, perhaps being a notion that nature is infinite.
The colour pallet is dark and ominous around the face, which enhances the feeling that it is emerging. The reddened lips almost gasping.
This is a truly harmonious and balanced picture which shows the legend of these intriguing myths.
You can find Marco Mazzoni on facebook here.
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