Critical comments

From the constant need for a creative activity which could relaxed him in his leisure time, Tommaso Ferri has come to the sculpture. In his soul he already had to feel the impulse to the artistic expressivity if he tells that, some time ago, on the wake of the elder brother who has been painting for some decades, he had tried "to dirty a canvas", but the result was so unsatisfactory that he wisely decided to give up.

As it often happens, it is linking together cases that opportunities are created as well as the stimuli needed to undertake specific routes; actually, Ferri was fascinated by a skilled wood carver fortuitously met during a summer holiday. The peculiarity of this artist-craftsman was that one to find the material in accidental and unpredictable way and to conceive the carving technique like a search of forms present, but hidden, in the wood, to let them emerge like figuresand make them readable to everyone.

Struck by this unexpected chance that the wood in its natural aspect offered him, Ferri decides to try himself on this exploration technique regarding both the material and its own creative imagination; a kind of game reflecting what we all did in our childhood, looking clouds: a search that from the observation of a form become revelation of our imaginative psyche. This process is purely surrealist and also highlights the followers of that historic avant-garde movement: for example, to activate the psychic automatism, which triggers imaginative processes based on the mechanism of analogy, Max Ernst uses natural elements as "optical" which bring forth images only in the embryonic shape present in the observed material and emerging thanks to the sensitivity and experiential baggage, conscious and unconscious, of the artist, caused indeed by those accidental and vaguely forms he looks at.

Wood is an ideal material for this type of procedure for the multiplicity of possibilities related to the grains thet proposes to the eye, to the various organic structural discontinuity and tractality which manifests in carving and smoothing.

Moreover, the technique of "taking out" to find the form has it beginning in the quotes insurmountable of the History of Art: Michelangelo, acting according to the Neo-Platonism philosophical theories, in sculpting believed to set free the essence of this form the heaviness of matter which caught it.

Ferri for his works chooses pieces of wood always perticularly knotty, often roots, which can follow curves and irregularities in search of any images contained in them; so the creative act is not entirely autonomous, but can be inspired by the shape and structural consistency of matter that sometimes softer sometimes harder, leads the hand of the artist.

The sculptures created sometimes reveal only pure forms, abstract, organic matrix, which respect the nature of the material, but most often recognizable figures in everlasting metamorphosis, connected by a magma apparently soft, which in part reveals them in part incorporates conceiling them. It is a magma which reveals the seemingly disordered and illogical flow of the unconscious, that approaches figures that appear inconsistent, but that in their enigmatic nature conquer the sense or the most interesting and challenging meaning.

Maria Francesca Zeuli (art historian)