“Azolo”: it’s the word we use in Sicily to identify the color indigo. It is a powder which was used in ancient times for sheets. After being washed, sheets and white clothes were rinsed into cold water and azolo to remove yellow staines (yellow often appaers on bed sheets due to the wear). Indeed the yellow was not actually washed away, but instead covered by the bluish dye. And in this magical way the old white immediatly came back and all the clothes appaered deeply clean.
The coloured powder was not used just for clothse: in many towns around Sicily the facades of the houses were used to be painted with azolo. Besides the aesthetic effect (the indigo touch was very impressive and refreshing), people also used to believe that azolo could keep bugs away. Even the inner alcoves were sometimes painted with azolo (“azzolate”). If you walk around some villages near Palermo (such as Altofonte) you can still find a hint of faded flaking indigo paint on the surface of old walls.
Enchanted/ seduced by the memories of azolo, I developed my recent works from the use of this colour, trough a methodical and intuitive process of painterly construction, meticolous deconstruction and repositioning of paper and canvas stripes.