Francesca Brunetti: Post-terrona

Friday, October 2, 2020 – Saturday, October 31, 2020,
Venue: Online
Admission: Free
Season: 2020-2021

Post-terrona. A drawing project about an imaginative reconfiguration of the southern Italian woman.

View the exhibition online.

Terrone is a pejorative term used by northern Italians to address and describe southern Italians. The English words “hick”, “hayseed”, or “redneck” function as rough translations. Yet these words do not capture the specificity of terrone, its unique connection to geography—the south of Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Rooted in the world “terra”, which means ground, terrone suggests the action of working the land by a poor and uneducated person. The reference to the ground is also connected with the color brown as a way to address the fact that people from the south of Italy have darker skin than people from the north.

The term “terrona”, the female form of “terrone”, refers to the southern Italian woman. My drawings represent the southern Italian woman according to how she has been traditionally represented—even caricatured—in a variety of media as loud, uneducated, impulsive, possessive, maternal, buxom, and attractive. By adopting a simple and minimalist drawing style I isolate, appropriate, and focus on these features of the terrona in order to shift the dialogue. With these drawings, my goal is to transform the meaning that traditional culture assigned to her. I do this by adopting a reductive drawing style to challenge the conventional representations of the terrona’s body where I emphasize the use of ink and line to allow the terrona’s gesture, pose, and facial expression to become primary. By embracing black and white my drawings suggest the design of a new type font that I use to create an unconventional language to describe the terrona.

As both an artist and scholar, Francesca Brunetti’s research involves interdisciplinary approaches to drawing and gender studies. Brunetti possesses a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy pursued at La Sapienza University of Rome. In 2012, she moved to Scotland where she obtained a Certificate of Higher Education in Art and Design at the Edinburgh College of Art and she earned a second Master’s in Communication Design at the Glasgow School of Art. Before moving to Scotland, she obtained a Certificate in Graphic Design at the Romeur Academy in Rome. Currently she is settled in Dallas, where she is a PhD Candidate in Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Texas at Dallas and she is a Research Fellow at The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History.

Brunetti, Francesca. Beach. India Ink, 8x11, 2020

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