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Fascinus

Handcrafted ceramic sculpture, glazed stoneware clay, analog photography, 2021

Dating all the way back to ancient Rome, before the days of modern medicine, the fascinus symbol was believed to protect the people from the evil eye and the vulnerable from sickness. In the current artwork, “Fascinus”, Neema portrays a self-exploratory dreamworld by laying bare her inner conflicts from childhood. Fighting sickness and high fevers as an infant introduced an unconscious impending fear of death through disease, yet a visit to Rome imprinted this symbol of hope and prosperity unknowingly into her memory.

The candle alludes to Neema’s fear of the dark when she was a child, for which she kept a candle on every night so that sleep could peacefully come to her and her mind could be at ease. The lemon tree reflects Neema's Italian roots and the warmth and fruit-bearing climate of the Southern soil.