“I try to turn on the existing invisible”
Joe Pansa’s artistic career is characterized by a persistent experimentation and a flirtation with non-objectivity. His research is focused on biomorphic forms, geometric shapes and semi-abstracted objects which are expressed in multiple media, from paintings to installations.
During the exploration in his “Inspired-Pop-Surrealism” , his art flows in a new kind of space in which objects are carefully released from the artist’s imagination and are juxtaposed with basic, recognizable forms.
There is the sense that they have always coexisted both in the material realm and in the inner space of Pansa’s art.
The artist balance the kind of spontaneity and automatism encouraged by the surrealists with the willingness to achieve finished artworks that seem plausibly representing something wonderful and, at the same time, mysterious, despiting their considerable level of abstraction.
The progress and rush with which we live our days lead us to take a very superficial look at the plants that inhabit our countryside, considering them only from a purely aesthetic or functional point of view.
Our ancestors, however, had a great consideration of the symbolic meaning and properties of plants, assimilating them to divinity or attributing them magical and symbolic content that transcended the matter of which they were constituted or their practical or aesthetic function.
Over the past few months I have been working with olive wood and prickly pears unifying them into a single object that could be a sculpture or a lamp.
The olive tree is present in symbology and myths from prehistory, as well as being emblem of peace, strength, faith, triumph, victory, and honor.
It symbolizes salvation and prosperity.
For its antiquity, this tree was considered to be among all peoples, an ancestral tree, the axis joining the three planes of existence, the pivot around which the worlds revolve, but for this function also Tree of Knowledge.
Everything starts when I’ve found a huge olive tree in the countryside. Its shape was like a spiral in it was empty inside. I literally entered the tree and closed my eyes, putting my hands to its trunk from the inside.
I felt a yellow energy moving in my stomach like a spiral that started from my navel and immediately after invading my entire body coming out from the top of my head.
When I opened my eyes I had the idea of creating spiritual objects with the products of our land, rediscovering the energies and beauty that had been hidden in recent times by our western “culture”.
In addition to the olive tree I included in my works the dried prickly pear leaves called “sikalindi”. The prickly pear tree, called by us “Fico d’India” is a very common plant from our region and was imported here from Mexico almost 600 years ago.
The symbolic meanings attributed to the Fico d’ India are two: “I burn for you” and “circumspection” justified by the presence of spines covering the plant and which suggest utmost caution in harvesting the fruits.
Sacred tree and sacred fruit, the Fico d’ India is the emblem of life, light, strength and knowledge.
Therefore in ancient tradition the Fico d’ India has a meaning of immortality and abundance. It also represents the axis of the world, which connects the earth to heaven. In ancient times practiced sicomasy, a method of divination through the leaves of this tree. As a symbol of abundance is related to fertility. The Fico d’India presides at birth; According to a Hindu legend, God Vishnu would be born under a Fico. The same goes for the founders of Rome, Romolo and Remo.
I strongly believe that in the best version of the bioeconomy, all renewable natural materials, and especially those in excess, should become the starting point for an artistic production cycles to reconnect us to mother earth in every possible way.