When I talked to Fanny Raponi, who goes by the name of Fannycontrasto, she had been in Switzerland for four months. Working abroad allows her to travel and beachcomb the world in search of its stories.
“My family has been in Lazio for 300 years, but we're still Gitanes at heart”, she says, before telling me about her great-grandfather, who was awarded a license for working precious materials in 1859, and her grandfather, a watchmaker and goldsmith, and their shop in the historic centre of Latina. Only afterwards does she tell me about the Politecnico di Milano, her degree in Industrial Design, her internship with the designer Fabio Cammarata and how it was he who led her (back) to the art of creating jewellery, and of the many places that have exhibited her work: from the Castello Visconteo in Trezzo sull'Adda to the Musei Mazzucchelli in Brescia, as well as the MAD in Sermoneta and the (Fuori)Salone in Milan.
“Goldsmithing skipped a generation in my family – my mother doesn't do it and my grandfather didn't have time to teach me. It had to take the long way round to get to me”.
Fanny tries to depict the world as she sees it through her painting, photography and writing, and thanks to her jewellery, gems, cuts, folds, fusions and her first collection, Chi ha rubato l'argenteria?, she has found a way to express the poetic core of all her works: the layering of stories and the rewriting of life upon a life which has already been. “I wanted to experiment but I didn't have any raw materials, so my mother gave me some coasters, bowls and silverware that no one would buy, and I transformed them while trying to retain their history”.
Even in her more recent collections (including Dal mare, Rock Vittoriano and Petali), Fanny's work remains based on the contrast between escape and tradition: travelling to remain in the same place, finding stories to then draw them inside what we already are, and collecting the traces of the past in order to describe it to others or to invent it - moulding matter to give it value.
The story has been written by Rossella Milone, writer
Artist from Latina, descendent of the De Vitis family, goldsmiths since 1859, who seeks in her creations a balance of contrasts.