Cianne Fragione

Suffering Herbs

pigment, chalk pastel, collage, oil paint stick, and graphite on canvas

31″ x 49″



Artist Statement

I am captivated by beauty, always, but at the same time I want the rhythms of life to seep into my imagery and constructive procedures: whether the visual motives emerge from my travels or from the immediacy of the world around me, I attend to the sounds, light, and heat, the landscape, the architecture and public spaces, a feeling for the quotidian rituals of a particular place. As these are filtered through my studio process, they ultimately seek reconciliation between place and imagery, exterior and interior, nature and the human. From this perspective, the work should call to mind the sense of a place and a way of life rather than their descriptions, as an inclusive visual concept that I wish to consider at length rather than a pictorial idea or scene alone.
In parts of Tuscany, the cultivation of herbs has been affected by soil depletion. This could be a metaphor of the pandemic. As image, this work moves decisively in the direction of painting, with a dark tonality that conveys a quality of sadness, grief, despair, and the beauty that survives in the midst of sadness. The painting was constructed by cutting up the canvas during the course of my process and then putting it back together, a strategy that enabled me to create decisive rhythms, moving from dark to light, in a compressed, emphatic manner. The lovely bright blue in the lower right corner is composed of raw pigment ground into the canvas surface in layers, and suggests a number of associations the sky, a window, a beacon of hope.

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