Art is indistinguishable from being: not a job or a hobby, but a true vocation. The need to express myself through sculpture, rather than simply resorting to the written word, took root in me at a tender age: following in the footsteps of my father (painter and sculptor) and mother (potter) I was amazingly lucky to be introduced early on to other, uncommon forms of communication and to be free to choose the one which suited me best. Contact with clay stirs all that is deep and primordial in me, so that I am in harmony with myself and with my deepest emotions and can then express them through the creation of a work of art. My father would always remind me that the important thing is to have a message to put across; so long as the message is clear, how it is conveyed is not important, because it will be understood by everybody. Through my sculptures I try to say something about myself, my quests and my feelings, in relation to the world in which we live today – one full of marvels, but also of horrors which we need to address.
Once I had settled on my means of expression, I plotted, as it were, my course of study so as to follow my inclination, enrolling first at the Liceo Artistico in Treviso and then at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice. As soon as I had completed my studies, I did my best to feature in as many exhibitions as possible, until I found a gallery prepared to sign my first exclusive contract; and it was this that gave a real boost to my career, particularly internationally. Now I work independently and manage my professional dealings myself. Hard work, dedication, and a love of what I do form the bedrock of everything I have been able to achieve, year after year, and I am happy to say that my creative strivings have continued to advance and bear fruit.
Everything hinges on man; he is the cornerstone. At first I thought of man as merely a biological computer whose preordained fate was inextricably tied to his genetic composition; the matrix, founded on primordial beliefs and traditions, did not allow of self-determination because it was fixed from the outset. But thanks to my travels and ongoing studies, often of ancient philosophies and cultures, I have broadened my knowledge and now see a glimmer of hope: the last word has not been said, we can discover our individual direction by attending to our deepest self. It is essential to access our inner energy and to allow this energy to connect with all the creatures and vital forces around us. So, if at first my answer to the question, “Why are we here?” was pessimistic, I am now firmly convinced that there is a purpose, though it passes our understanding. The first step is to arrive at self-knowledge so that our inner light can spread and free itself from our physical body. This is the focus of my research at the moment: only by releasing ourselves from fears and earthly ties can we attain to a condition of perfect completeness.
Paola Epifani, known professionally as Rabarama, at the Museo Omero for the Biennale Arteinsieme 2019 with the exhibition “Rabarama e i giovani artisti” (“Rabarama and Young Artists”) from June to September.