The theme of Being, which has always been at the centre of Stefania Orrù’s research, is investigated through a hermetic painting that encloses distinct sentimental urgencies. This is not a merely eye-catching surface lyricism, but rather a sort of reflection that knows how to linger in the passing between light and shade, returning to the realm of the senses with a serene spirit. It is a meditative immersion into light, colour and form through a powerful painting imbued with energy. Stefania Orrù is an artist who interprets the contemporary world through her authentic, existential and poetic world, without losing her true nature: withher, concept becomes material and the works withhold and send out the light of the idea. In her works there is a deep echo of experienced aesthetics that even undo and therefore suspend the idea of time, overlapping past and present. When observing these works, we realise that we are inside a story that talks about Stefania Orrù and simultaneously links us to a universe of references brought to mind by an image. At first glance it may seem that these images of women (which are almost always self-portraits) are, above all, the carriers of a mystical beauty based on the balance of the composition and the delicate dosage of the coloristic element. Recalling the Greek tradition, we could speak of a beauty which is not symmetría alone, but also chróma, colour. Therefore, a qualitative and punctual beauty, which may become manifest even in a simple chromatic sensation or a flash of light: “The simple beauty of a colour is given by a form that dominates the darkness of material, by the presence of an incorporeal light, which is nothing but reason and idea,” according to Plotinus’ way of thinking, and which becomes, within the frame of Neoplatonic philosophy, the light that shines on the material as a reflection of the One from whom it emanates. But here we are not within a last expression of the mysticism of light, but rather within an aesthetics of light that makes Beauty (and evocative capacity) a cognitive tool. And Beauty, in order to be a cognitive tool, needs to be filtered by literature that, despite the large variety of accents, dwells on the aesthetics of light: literary echoes thus intertwine and succeed one another, from Dante, to Blake and Rimbaud, from Leopardi, to Neruda and Pasolini. Her poetic universe is expressed, incisively, by bringing ancestral icons to mind: suspended, straight on female figures, placed within a space which is annulled, a dispersing vacuum, in which all that remains visible is the figure, the only real space that can be probed. The limpid classicism of the subjects, figures, rarefied faces and profiles, the attention to the body that underlies respect and consideration for the individual that stands out in an immaterial space made palpable by transparencies and textural depths : the faces that, at first glance, recalled the fixity of Byzantine icons, dissolve to show the ephemeral depth of the sensations, emotions, feelings and consciences manifested through painting. The measured and precise balance of the compositions also relies on the shade that blends with and opposes a light created from the diaphanous, which rises from the depth of things and expresses their infinite power. Phenomenal reality is always partly obscure and undecipherable, and thus destined to inevitably blend shade and light, interior light, the internal and invisible core of things, eidos – the essence through which the Being manifests itself. Hence the need to investigate, to dig with the aim of directing reflection, lingering and understanding. What we are participating in is an aesthetic research that returns to symbolism and figuration, to explore the invisible and eternal. And the notion of time in these works also passes through a clever technique that breathes the scent of the past: old and new at once, blending tradition and innovation, springing from experience acquired over the years, practice with Master Elvio Marchionni, and reflections on gestures and material. Artistic language becomes concrete by anchoring to individual experience, and it is not surprising to find in Orrù an evident love for memory and history (the lesson of the painters of the Umbrian Quattrocento mediated by the Master), and for the processing of the material, learned also through the use of the strappo technique, and the work on masonry surfaces, in addition to the comparison with the natural colours and atmospheres of her homeland, the Marches, and with Umbria, experienced during the years of training as an artist. The same colours found in the velvety graduation of the shades, from pale pink to blue, light ochre yellow and pearl white, which characterise her palette and take on unexpected hues due to the strong surge of the soul that enlivens them. Effects made possible by an elaborate experimentation matured through the choice of a mixed technique that unites fresco, tempera grassa and hot wax to create otherwise impossible overlays and veilings. Shading off softens the passage from light to shade, and the lack of sharpness of the contours becomes imperceptible dispersion but, for Stefania Orrù, it is also the awareness to be handling a material that is alive and vital, and that undergoes changes owing to the way she handles it. The shadings off are not only soft and delicate, but create a contrast that no longer speaks of the sweetness of remembering and of memories, but of a different place where thoughts gather and consolidate in a closely elaborate material, according to a precise and meditated expressive ductus, which changes depending on the pursued results, making the surface at times dense and scratched, and at times glossy and smooth.