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Filomena Coppola

Mother Tongue

Mixed media installation: sound, film and drawings
345 x 615 cm
 
 
Left panel, Ilario Crisera preparing to be interviewed.
Photography Credit: Robert Klarich
Right panel, Detail (Drawing 2 of 20) Valle D’Aosta, 2013
Pastel on paper, 100h x 80w cm
Photography Credit: Luke Birch


Mother Tongue is the second project in a series of three works, which are influenced by the post war migration of Italians to Mildura. On March 16, 2011 Coppola’s uncle passed away – he was the first Coppola  to be buried in Australian soil. The loss of this first generation of migrants and its cultural significance is at the heart of this intensive series of works spanning three years of production.  The first series Chasing the Disappeared uses the markings of the Tasmanian Tiger to reference loss – in a 8 metre long pastel drawing. Mother Tongue is a multimedia sound, film and drawing installation which connects directly to the moment of migration – leaving Italy, the journey and the arrival. The twenty drawings each represent a region of Italy; the sound layers the voices of three generations of local Italians reciting their alphabet (which has 21 letters compared to 26 in the English alphabet), the missing letters creating a haunting echo of greater losses, whilst the video captures the faces and evolving Italian dialects of the first generation of migration. This year Coppola begins the third work Alpha Sound in which she develops a new symbolic alphabet, this work will also incorporate a sensor triggered sound component.

Mother Tongue is supported by The Regional Arts Fund, an Australian Government initiative supporting the arts in regional and remote Australia, administered in Victoria by Regional Arts Victoria.
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