First published:Spring 1998
In Sciacca he was known as 'Filippo of the Heads'. Filippo Bentivegna was a peasant, and also a sculptor -except that no one believed him. He emigrated to America, but returned to Sicily in 1913 and bought a field covering three acres at the foot of Mount Cronio, covered in olive trees, almond trees and stones. He ploughed the land, he pruned the trees... but the stones were still there, tons of them, useless and everywhere.
One day, out of the blue, he suddenly realized what he could do with them: he would write on them the story of the suffering he had endured in life, his desires, his solitude, his bitterness. First of all, he began to scratch the stone with a pen-knife and a pruning-knife, then to engrave it, and finally he broke off little pieces and set about carving in to them: a wrinkled brow, a half-open eye, and below them a stubby nose and a grimacing mouth.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #22.