Lorenza Sannai

Dove ci incontriamo, 2018, thread and paint on canvas, app 6 x 6 inches

Sannai: Thread as Suture Between Cultures


Sardinia, 1996: Leaving has meant moving away from the place where I was born and grew up amid hopes and dreams. Only by detaching myself from it, however, was I able to truly understand things that I took for granted. I believe that having distance is a necessary process. Every time I go back I'm happy because I find my roots again.


The USA, 2005: A journey full of expectations and concreteness.


The Italian painter Osvaldo Licini used to say, "It's in the small dimensions that truth is concentrated. Art has a mysterious nature and cannot be defined.” I have used this thought to describe both my island and the dimension of my work. Everyone responds to their own lived experience. One's sensibility is not built up over time but is immediately identified, and the means one uses to exercise it serves to define it.


There is always a something or an elsewhere that must be contextualized, modified, adapted. America has given me a global vision of art, where the novelty lies in not excluding any practices and solutions, because what counts is the way of execution.


One of the practices of my work regards the inclusion of embroidery as a pictorial element. Areas painted in acrylic interplay with embroidered areas in a pattern of polychrome geometry. I always use canvas that has already been primed in white, but I leave the primed side as a backing that hardens the weave of the fabric’s face on which I embroider. So, the finished works are painted on two sides in dialogue. The front/back painting is yet another sign of the dualistic aspect of my work, as much as my belonging to two different cultures.


In this process nothing is limited to a planned scheme, but there is an intuitive and improvisatory component that communicates the experience of our passage in life: a shared space and a place of memory. 


The use of thread for me is a point of suture between generations, worlds, cultures. But first of all embroidery is a tribute to the women of my family: mother, aunt, grandmothers. The thread becomes a conductor, a connection not only of points but also of a bond between people and places. The rhythm of a line is also a line of thought, it is a bridge between time and space following the generations and imbuing the works with a narrative energy also made of emotional exchanges. I am thinking of the manual skills and the collaborations between people who have participated in the production of the yarn until its use.


My world is a construction in continuous evolution and, why not, of perspectives where unpredictability and uncertainty dance between knowledge and unconsciousness. It's a new world, as new as the USA that has driven me to experiment, to continually renew myself, because here there is non exclusion of kind or method.


Everything that appears confused works toward the balance to be found. After all, balance is the result of different perspectives and mirror games and memory resonances.


Verso: Dalla terra alla luna

Verso: Dove ci incontriamo

Dalla terra alla luna, 2018, thread and paint on canvas, app 10 x 7.5 inches

MoreOver, 2020, thread and paint on canvas, app. 8.5 x 4.25 inches

Lorenza Sannai