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Our artistic journey toward Sabìr started in 2014. After following individual paths aimed at developing a personal creative process, we decided to share a workshop. While we started experimenting with painting on fabric, Maestro Giò Coppola revealed us his secret techniques on how to use pigments and binders, how to mix them and how to get special effects and glazes. Our daily relationship stimulated the birth of a four handed project. Dialogue, the fertile ground of our work, shaped a conceptual construction whose origin is in the surname - we are sisters-in-law - that binds us: Perla (pearl). That research on the pearl slowly changed from an exogenous element into an inner suggestion and opened new channels of communication. The osmosis between our two individualities allowed us to reach a common language. While we were reflecting on the concept of a shared language and concretely working on finding our own, we came across one of Camilleri’s book that spoke about Sabìr. It was an illumination!

Sabìr refers to an ancient language spoken in the ports across the Mediterranean Sea and

it’s also our body of art. Sabìr is composed of several canvases, they are reused fabrics painted by organic colors specially created for them. Each canvas is an open story that leads to the next, sometimes in a continuum, sometimes in contrast, others by magic; each piece guides and connotes the composition. The long and delicate work of juxtaposition and binding - carried out with thin gauze to integrate the space left by the "missing words"- weaves the fragments together and renders a complete narration.

Time is an essential element of the composition, as the immediate absorption of color does not allow corrections. Just as it happens with speech, words cannot be taken back, once spoken.

From the first creative spark, the Sabìr does not reveal itself before the dawning of the second moon.

If the Sabìr are the plots of the main speech, interwoven stories of a common language, the Totems are the words left on the sidelines, poetically and rhythmically recomposed. This rhythm is accelerated in La Ciaccerata - a composition of much smaller fragments - suspended sentences as you may overhear at the market, at the next cafeteria table, in a waiting room - collected and combined to recompose the richness of collective expression, with a playful spirit, like polychrome mosaic.



Luigia d’Alfonso was born in 1967 in Rome where she has always lived and worked, ranging from jewelry design to textile design.  Since 2002 she has shared an art and craft atelier with Ada Perla, then they both channeled their mutual experiences towards an artistic research whose root digs in the origins of the Mediterranean Sea.

Ada Perla, born in Rome in 1960, has followed art studies since high school, graduating eventually in art history.  After a period of work as a graphic designer, she has been sharing for many years an atelier with Luigia d’Alfonso.  Since 2014 the couple embarked in an artistic adventure towards a common language: the Sabìr.

© 2020 by Hansford and Sons Fine Art Ltd.