Sibilla Aleramo’s first novel “A Woman at Bay” (Una Donna) describes her arrival in the town of Civitanova Marche, when she was about 11 years old and saw the sea for the first time. Doplhins are symbol of this connection, as well are letterforms, calligrams composed with words by Aleramo’s first impressions of the sea,collected from the first pages of her first book: “The sea was a bad expanse of silver, the sky an infinite smile resting upon my head…“. “My lungs drank in with avidity all that free air, that salty breath. I would race up and down in the sun on the shore and face the waves as they curled on the sand.” “Dolphins” is a site-specific mural refering on the hard life of Sibilla Aleramo. A vortex of dolphins, a downard spiral, aims to create a relationship between the sea described in her words, and what she passed through before arriving to this town: being raped by a brutal husband who worked for her father.
The composition of the mural, with the spiral of dolphins, and the constellation of Delphinus running through it, refers to the series “Vortex” of Opiemme. In mythology, there are many stories connecting dolphins with rescue. Sibilla Aleramo became a symbol of a new woman that rules her own life, a woman that saved herself from a written life. The latin proverb “per aspera ad astra” (top right – “through hardships to the stars”.) works as comment to Sibilla Aleramo’s life. Opiemme’s signature (top left) is combined with a phrase by the artist: “The wind shakes my thoughts”