More Than Layers

by Emma Moriconi
curated by Marta Seminerio

Silk, cotton, natural and organic pigments and dyes, variable dimensions, 2021

We are part of a very long and deep-time story. A complex narrative and timeline: we as humans are embedded in geological time, ecological time, written into and directly connected to the elements that make up our environment.

From logwood, to madder extract, to alkanet root, these raw pigments are primary materials, vegetable and natural colors that come together with organic cloth: cotton and silk. Beyond an idea of sustainability, rather an exploration of tangible ways in which we can connect to the deep ecological time, geologic time.

How can we conceive new ideas of borders and confines, shifting from a geopolitical approach but exploring the ecological elements of our surroundings that are in continuous evolution and constant movement such as geologic plate tectonics that have an enormous impact on humans and all living organisms yet move less than a millimeter per second.

The macro and micro world of Emma Moriconi

The dichotomy between the macro and micro environment is the common thread in the practice of Emma Moriconi, a painter and interdisciplinary artist who studies living and non-living biological forms, geological and geographical terrains, minerals and natural elements of the earth.

Moriconi's work investigates the ways in which the microscopic and biological worlds can become visible to the human eye, while macroscopic and geological landscapes are reconsidered in search of new connections between the living and non-living elements that make up our environment. On the basis of this awareness the project More than layers was born.

What are the geological markers, physical boundaries and limits of time and how can they be revisited poetically and artistically? Emma Moriconi's work, More than layers, brings together the boundaries between the macro and micro living, organic and vegetable worlds. She has reimagined these connections, from living microorganisms to geological organisms, these are the elements that make up our environment and the surrounding ecosystem. The boundary is an organic memory that is etched into the earth, in the soil and rocks. Geological layers are an imprint, a physical memory of history and boundaries that are endlessly and continuously moving.

Here the artist uses a mix of organic textiles dyed with raw pigments, vegetable and natural colors resulting in wearable sculptures of a deep blue-purple, burnt umber-orange and light yellow. The process of coloring and dying the cotton and silk is a way to actively rediscover the organic memory of mineral and vegetable elements, an indication of the changing boundaries of the Earth itself, which carries with it innumerable forms and nuances. Moriconi's desire is to instill a new collective self-awareness that reflects on the close connection between the various ecosystems, species and organisms that populate the world - which manifest themselves in the macro environment but have their roots in the micro, in the invisible that, today more than ever, we can no longer underestimate. Crossing every geological and biological boundary between elements, organisms and all species, Moriconi expresses her desire for a possible future that More than layers suggests.

Text by Marta Seminerio

Emma Moriconi (Milan, 1997) is an Italian-American painter and interdisciplinary artist. She received a BA in World Arts and Cultures from the School of the Arts & Architecture at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2019 and she is currently pursuing an MA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies at NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti in Milan, Italy. Through painting and material experimentation, Emma pays particular attention to the macro and micro elements that make-up our surroundings by studying living and non-living biological forms, geological and geographical terrains, and earth’s mineral foundation.

Marta Seminerio was born in Palermo in 1996. After obtaining a BA in Design of exhibition and museum systems at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo, she enrolled in the MA in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies at NABA, in Milan, where she lives and works.
She is currently employed at Prometeo Gallery and is simultaneously developing a personal research on artist residency.