…tracing Zandomeneghi’s painting with the purple poppy capsule’s mark,
that we used when we were children to paint the back of our hand, with that arcane symbol that looks like a star or like a cross-shaped.
Tattooing the skin like that was a magical and solemn gesture, almost initiatory,
that could evoke in a sunny afternoon of May without mystery, the purple shadow of sleep and death…

Caterina Sbrana, text for Zandomeneghi, catalogue for Organica, Sakros, Carrara, 2008

  1. Caterina Sbrana, A letto di Zandomeneghi (In bed by Zandomeneghi), poppy capsules pressed on linen canvas, cm 300×200, 2008
  2. The first harvest, May 2008

Island is a site-specific work that evokes the famous painting Totenisle by Arnold Böcklin (Basel, 1827 – Florence, 1901).

The windows of the Syracuse University overlook the English Cemetery in Piazzale Donatello.
Perhaps one of the possible inspirations for Bocklin’s work was this hidden place , an island in the middle of Florence.
The outline of the island drawn with the capsules and printed, applied to the glass with a transparent adhesive is like a filter on this timeless vision.

Caterina Sbrana, text for A private Geography, curated by Paola Bortolotti, 2013

Caterina Sbrana, Totenisle, poppy capsules on japanes paper, cm100x100, Syracuse University in Florence, private collection.

  1. Caterina Sbrana, Beata Beatrix, poppy capsules pressed on linen canvas, cm 300×350, 2010, photo credit Diego Barsuglia
  2. Beata Beatrix, detail, photo credit Diego Barsuglia


Hypnos, poppy capsule pressed on canvas, pigment, 2010, private collection, Abu Dhabi.