Transumanza is an Italian word that loosely translates to crossing the land. “As a child growing up in Italy, each Spring during the full moon, I was awakened by the passage of shepherds driving their flocks of sheep to the upper reaches of the Apennine Mountains. The sounds of hooves, bells, dogs barking, and low whistles seemed magical,” d’Inverno said. “Transumanza is, for me, both an action and a metaphor that can be applied to the historical changes that have shaped the United States: our shared history of crossing lands, breaking boundaries, accessing and losing territories, our comings and goings.”
The New York City-based artist delved into the history of Ohio and Massillon—glacial-age fossils, native mounds, the beginnings of the state, the story of Massillon’s founders and their legacy of abolitionism, the Ohio and Erie Canal, football, and the steel industry. “Everywhere I looked there was a story to be told. The work I produced for this show is, then, a kind of visual storytelling,” she said.
Massillon and Ohio have, for d’Inverno, a real sense of place. The motifs, patterns, and colors found in this exhibition are specific to her understanding of Massillon.
Using paint, watercolor, ink, and pencil, d’Inverno transforms history into abstraction, allowing viewers to approach historical subjects focused on their own personal reaction. For each series, she researches a place, an era, or an event, and develops a visual language of repetitive motives, patterns, and colors specific to the subject. That language melds into a mix of facts and imagination.
Carole d’Inverno is a self-taught artist. She grew up in Italy and Belgium; moved to the United States in 1979; and now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The artist has had numerous solo and group shows in the United States. Recent solo shows include Appalachia: an Abstraction, at the Western Carolina University Art Center, Cullowhee, NC, and A Way of Saying at SUNY Rochester Monroe College, Rochester, NY.
d’Inverno has received many awards and has been accepted into the historical Artist Lab at Rokeby Museum, VT. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies across the United States and in Italy. Her work is in the public collections in Washington and Oregon and in private collections across the US and Europe.