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vurgia 1

vurgia 1


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From the first moment I flicked through an old family photo album, it was clear to me the incredibly powerful role of the photographic image. The evocative nature of the old photos opened up another world to me, leaving my imagination to fill in the rest of the story.   The images in the I Terroni series are the result of my research into my families sentimental past identity, discovering how they continue to hold onto their cultural traditions in Australia, and how their beliefs are entrenched in the past and re-identified in the present.   Italian-Australians are participating in a continuous tradition, almost oblivious to the fact that their traditional culture and social structures have been modernized and are now all but gone. Their physical environment in Australia is an adoptive one, so they hold onto such things as family albums and decorative objects as sentimental testimony of a past identity.   I Terroni, the collective title of this body of work, is a term widely used in the north of Italy to describe the southern Italians. It is a derogatory statement, suggesting that the southerners who come from mainly provincial country areas are in fact bound to the terra, or ‘soil’. When I recently exhibited the I Terroni series in Italy, the title had to be changed to Esuli, meaning ‘exiles’.   Renato Colangelo, 2006

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