About Maria Carmela Milano

Italiano (Italian)

by Romina Guidelli

To understand the work of Maria Carmela Milano it is necessary to go to the bottom. To look inside. Carefully contemplate each of her tactile containers of the essence: her work hosts human poetry and human torment, protected by tight meshes. Her own body is an instrument, a medium that accompanies her in the creation and envelope to which she can sew on her soul and personal identity every day, to then return the same essence outside herself, in works that are portraits, fragments and traces of her own vital beat.

A special care for the particular, for the infinitely small and the infinitely large, for the evident and the hidden. Thin veins and large arteries, capillaries and hair, organs and skin are contained and are abstract containers from an ideal body that become an extension of the artist’s own body and, through the liturgy of sewing and weaving movements, become body of works to embrace space. A process that happens naturally and honors that feeling of welcome and inclusion that perfectly recognizes those who know it.

“Da cosa nasce cosa”, installation detail , BOCS Art, 2017

Maria Carmela Milano’s art surrounds the time in which life happens.

Thin ropes build architectures born from paths of new thread in ancient spaces.

So Maria Carmela installs.

Or they twist on themselves in search of maximum intimacy and pure form.

So Maria Carmela sculpts.

Each knot, each thread is part of the whole for Maria Carmela and deserves infinite care and capable hands to restore the image and shape of interior portraits, in the deepest and most secret sense of the term.

So Maria Carmela assembles.

Maria Carmela Milano wears her work on her skin. The heat evoked by each of her works reaches the observer intensely. In this state of engaging pleasure, the observer lets himself be observed inside. The artist will recount this close encounter in her next work.

Arte Pollino, 2011, workshop , “La rete di Indra”

Arte Pollino, 2011, “La rete di Indra”, intertwined threads

Maria Carmela, where does your research start?

In my research the body plays a central role and with it its relationship with space. The body in my work is not only the fulcrum from which I have always started, it also becomes the unit of measurement of the environments that host it. Not only as a spatial measure, but also as an emotional measure. A body that crosses space, traversing it, walking it, running it, measures it as geometry, draws it as form. A body in space meets other bodies, encounters places full of feelings and experiences, a body in this state gets excited and produces meaningful actions. A body in this state becomes a MAP, a geometry of fabrics, a geography of emotions. I play on this dualism The Body and Geography, and I  try to deepen the link that the body has with the landscape, experiencing the space.

Since I started working on my body, I have necessarily interacted with the other by observing and dissecting it, as is done in a laboratory. I experimented with different materials and different forms of expression until I came to use almost and exclusively textile fibers. In my research the body becomes fabric and the fabric becomes skin, the skin becomes weft and weaves, the weaves become organs. It was easy to find the body I was looking for in the fabric.

What are you working on or what do you want to work on now?

At the moment I am engaged with Silvia Adiutori, art therapist and Gestalt psychologist, in a textile art therapy project. This path takes place with experiential training methods on the use of textile art therapy techniques for work in the field of education, rehabilitation, integration, of clinical, of the  social understood as a space for transversal and multivariate intervention that develops around the practice of the helping  relationship. We proposed it at a day center attended by adults with severe disabilities.


I have recently started again to focus on a project that I had started about 3 years ago, “From what comes what”, started with an artistic residency at BOCS ART in Cosenza, focusing above all on the relationship between me and others. This journey began with the birth of my daughter, from this moment my life has changed and adapted. A new me and many other things were born with her.

For example, since my daughter Carlotta was born, Pupazze a Pezzi has also been born, a small brand producing rag puppets and micro-sewing laboratory projects and creative activities for children.

BOCS ART, work in progress, 2017

Da cosa nasce cosa”, (From what comes what), crocheted paper, BOCS ART, 2017

Da cosa nasce cosa”, (From what comes what), crocheted paper, BOCS ART, 2017

Can you tell us about your latest work?

The work that I presented at the Up Gallery in Rome, in the exhibition curated by Marta Di Meglio, I created works that reproduce a human organ that I am very fond of, “The heart”.

I mixed different techniques, direct printing on fabric, embroidery and sewing, to create small installations that reproduced the heart in the form of a puppet. I tried to translate the word love with images that I feel very mine. Love does not live trivially in the heart, love pierces  the heart  and crosses it, swells it and makes it walk. I have not interpreted love only as love for the other, but I have understood it as the engine that moves us to live life with passion; love and the heart become an anatomical map to go through.

“Extrasistole”, mixed technique on fabric, UP Gallery, Rome, 2021

“Extrasistole”, mixed technique on fabric, UP Gallery, Rome, 2021

“Extrasistole”, mixed technique on fabric, UP Gallery, Rome, 2021

Future projects?

In July I will be present with other artists at TERRAPROMESSA, a widespread exhibition project included in the IlluminAmatrice Contemporary Arts Festival, immersed in the wilderness of the Monti della Laga, in Amatrice; in fact  for me it will be the first opportunity to pick up projects and ideas left in the drawer for some time. There is also the idea of ​​a solo show in Rome around November, but this could be just the beginning … or a new beginning …

Maria Carmela Milano (Polla, 1976), is an interdisciplinary artist. Her passion for metalworking led her first to Ferruccio Maierna’s workshop where she began working iron building autonomous mechanical sculptures and, subsequently, to the San Giacomo Engraving School in Rome, where she specialized as an engraver and printer.

Always fascinated by the work on her own body and the infinite possibilities of interaction through it, she channels her research through different expressive modalities up to the current research focused above all on the use of textile fibers using different techniques, all learned during childhood in the maternal house where the women of the whole family worked with fabrics. In 2001 she founded, together with other artists and performers, the collective Santasangre, an internationally renowned experimental theater company. She has participated in numerous projects, personal and group exhibitions.