Giuseppina Santoro​

Patria

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I am an artist, lecturer and academic who's practice is mainly three dimensional. I maintains strong links with textiles, painting, ceramics and socially engaged teaching and performance. My concerns lie in culture, identity and displacement. Artworks are a way of bringing to light the frustrations and lived experiences of BAME placement and displacement.

The idea of home being the base, foundation and roots of a person has once again returned in an unexpected way..
Home is a large and vital part of my research so this artwork is a natural continuation in my artistic practice. I question the position of ‘Home’ from a British Sicilian, second generation perspective. Bringing multi cultural BAME knowledge into the project, builds on the foundation of what a home is, where it is and how it effects us as individuals and communities. During the pandemic I reached out to find new connections, new ideas and new ways of researching safely at home. Then I remembered ‘Patria’.

A piece of agricultural land my mother bought for me years ago. Since her death in 2019, I hadn’t been there. So I decided to spend a week on my land to connect with her memory in the summer of the lockdown. Although in lockdown, I had no restrictions on Patria, unlike at the house/ domestic space or with people. A whole new world opened up artistically and is there to be discovered. My ideas and conversations are ever evolving and the creative possibilities are endless. In a sculptural and performance type of frenzy, I went through a process of marking out my territory; strimming, prunning, measuring, dug ditches, planted trees, picnicked, created art, erected gates and finally planned to build a sustainable studio space using the earth from the land using a style of building that is one of the oldest building styles around.

Cob style building utilises the earth/clay of the land. It is mixed with straw and water to build homes and spaces. I built a maquette for the first building (a green studio) and am now saving funds to begin the build 2021. The space will have rain water filter system, daylight panels and a composting toilet. My previous artworks and projects follow similar methods to the Arte Povera movement. So again using and reusing the materials of the land as much as possible in a sustainable way fulfils my methodology.

Ph.D. Candidate

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