With a name like Angela Sorpreso, a business called BellaArtista and a well-documented love affair with beautiful food, it’s no secret that my cultural heritage is Italian! I was born here in Australia to Italian-born parents, and when I was four, my family took a six-month holiday back to Italy on the Achille Lauro. That was a little while ago, and so understandably my memories of that holiday is a little hazy! However, one of my favourite photos of myself is from that trip. There’s me, four years old, standing on some piazza steps in beautiful Taormina Sicily.
Earlier this year I went back to Taormina at the height of the European summer. I wandered up and down alleyways searching for that piazza in the labyrinth of streets. Guess what? I found it! I stood on those same steps several decades later and smiled for the camera.
What do two photos, same place, different time have to do with BellaArtista? More than I could have ever imagined!
As I look at the photos of myself at four and at 50-ish (a girl can’t give away all her secrets!) what stands out most to me is the sheer symmetry in the setting. The steps are uniform and perfectly frame the blue of the Mediterranean beyond, and whoever set up that first shot placed me in the direct centre of the vista.
I’ve always been drawn to geometry in design; not surprising, given my European background. I get a real kick out of symmetry and I’m that person who rearranges the dishwasher so everything is lined up beautifully. I’ve always had an eye for lines and I love the symbolic references to different shapes and sequences.
All throughout Europe, symmetry is such an integral component in design. Streets are laid out in grids, the piazzas in Italy and the agoras in Greece are neat squares, hexagons or triangles, and I’ve noticed that whenever a curve appears in a design it is flanked by a straight line. In cities especially, which are so noisy, chaotic, vibrant and positively teeming with life, the expectedness of the symmetry gives peace and space within the hurry.
My range of geometric 3D art pieces, such as Stars of Amore, Fiore of Life, Modern Swirl Azzuro and Diamonds of Love were all designed after a trip to Italy a number of years ago. I have returned from this recent trip equally inspired. In fact, I’m already back in the studio creating and designing. Of course, symmetry plays a huge part in my designs, but I’m also using lots of beautiful bright hues reminiscent of the varying blues of the sea line and evocative of that European sun as it reflects off the white buildings of Greek Islands and against the marble walls of the Italian cathedrals. Just quietly, I’m so excited about the work that this trip has inspired and can’t wait to share it!
It’s a busy world out there, no doubt about it. Just as the ancient design soothes contemporary life, so too does gorgeous, tactile wall art in your home and in your workplace. Purchase your own piece in our shop.