Ferdinando Vassallo and His Floating Stones
Artist Ferdinando Vassallo in his own words
I graduated from the Art Institute of Salerno in 1973 and started making pottery right after that, first in local workshops in the town where I lived, Montecorvino, then in Vietri, where I worked in the workshop "D'Amore" for three years.
In 1978, I founded my own ceramic workshop, “Terraviva”, in Montecorvino. In early 2000, with a partner, I founded a new workshop called “Chiaroscuro”. In those years, my work was exhibited at the Milan gallery “Rumma Lia” and the Ceramics Museum of Salerno.
I was particularly interested in the concepts of time and space. All objects in the cosmos - stars, stones, water and people - are made of the same matter. Still we are all different.
The Praiano NaturArte Project fits me like a glove, because in Praiano I see stones suspended between the sky and the sea. Thus, it seemed appropriate for me to make ceramic stones and apply them to the town’s stone walls to compose a word, a name or an expression from the local dialect or tradition.
There are 8 words, names or expressions made of these ceramic stones.
My project also includes eight panels with views of Praiano whose subjects are local praianese landscapes immersed in the sky and the sea. Although the panels illustrate local landscapes or sites dear to tourists and non-tourists, they are mostly intended to represent the amazing beauty of transcendental landscapes that highlight the immensity of the cosmos.
Having my work permanently installed in such a spectacular natural background is quite amazing.
I find the concept of the open-air museum behind the NaturArte Project much more fitting for my work than a conventional, indoor gallery. It is much more livable, more usable and more, I hope, enriching for art lovers.
The uniqueness of this land reminds me of the uniqueness of the cosmos. But the message of my work is a message of unification, brotherhood, not division and separation. I see us all as stones floating between the sky and the sea, sharing the same wonderful landscape in peace and unity as people of the cosmos.
WATCH THE VIDEO BY RAFFAELE CAPPIELLO & MICHELE IACCARINO