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Red Spiral Plate cm. 34
11
Oct

Spiral in art: a universal symbol

One of the most frequently repeated forms in the ceramic art of Antonella Ciapetti is undoubtedly the spiral. An ancient symbol, with multiple meanings.

A figure used for millennia in every part of the world, whose meaning sinks into the most archaic religiosity and popular beliefs.

The spiral is one of humanity’s most ancient and mysterious symbols, and its enigmatic fascination continues to pose before the enigma of the universe.

The way of the soul

In many ancient cultures the spiral depicts the path that leads the soul to evolve and to get to the knowledge of the absolute: the path of enlightenment.

But it is also a “feminine” symbol, which is linked to the generative force of the universe and to the mystery of birth.

The concentric rings that expand from a central point to the outside are also a symbol of growth, rebirth, and metaphorically represent the link between the human and the divine.

Focusing on observing a spiral leads the mind to explore itself, to turn to its inner self, and at the same time to imagine the vastness of creation: a spiral expands and directs the thought towards the infinitely large and infinitely small.

From the outside to the inside … and back

Another interpretation of the spiral is the Labyrinth, an initiatory path that represents the impervious path that the soul has to face in order to reach God, and this is also present in many Christian figurations, such as the Cathedral of Chartres.

Another meaning of the spiral is continuous motion, which creates and destroys.

Destructive vortex or creative spirit, approaching or moving away from the center, its endless nature is the main reason for its importance in the iconography of all peoples, from prehistory onwards.

Depicted on medieval tombs, it represented the immortality of the soul.

Spirals in nature

Even science has confirmed it: the universe moves in spirals; just look at any image of our galaxy in order to admire its spiral shape and its continuous expansion towards the infinite.

But in nature the spirals are everywhere: from shells to the movement of electrons, from fingerprints to the shape of hurricanes, from the vortexes that we can see in a soap bubble to the whirl of a whirlpool and the flight of birds of prey.

Spirals in art

It is incredible how this ancient symbol unites the cultures of peoples all over the world, from the Northern Europe of the ancient Celts to South America, from Africa to the Mediterranean.

In general, they represent the movement of the Sun, and appear engraved on the stone of the monuments that were illuminated during the solstice and the equinox.

In addition to the extraordinary spiral shapes of Newgrange in Ireland, a unique monument in the world, dating back to 3200 BC, among the most important works that have such decorations we find: Fajada Butte in New Mexico, the Tomb of the chessboard in Sardinia, the ancient decorated cups of the Minoan civilization, the Aeolian and Ionic capitals in the architecture of ancient Greece, the twelfth century mosaic in the Apse of San Clemente in Rome.

Spirals in Geometrie

The works of the modern collection by Antonella Ciapetti see the frequent use of symbolic elements with deep meaning, such as the sun, the circle and, indeed, the spiral.

An exquisitely contemporary style that draws on millenarian iconographies, in search of a synthesis between archaic and contemporary.

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