Tre cavalli (Three horses)

Manca, Bonaria

The painting is called ‘three horses’, but we see four animals in a green meadow, beneath a dark blue starry sky with glittering clusters of stars. The only white animal has been drawn upside down, undoubtedly indicating that it is lying on its side. The head is turned towards the viewer. The beast at the front right with her large eye allows her young to drink. There are two half-timber houses with slate roofs. At the top left stands a structure with sails. The meadow is bordered by a fence of wooden poles with a gate in the middle and there is even a feeding trough to complete the image.

Asked about her painting technique, Manca says ‘I never mix colours. It happens by itself. Neither do I plan anything in advance. The work is born from my hands. I never force myself.’ She uses what is available: chalk, paint, flour, glue, even stones. Her equipment is just as basic. Sometimes she will draw with just one hair of a brush, sometimes she will use her fingers for want of a brush. She explains her creativity as follows: ‘I felt lonely after the death of my parents and brothers. When my husband left me I finally began to feel free. I felt happy with each new day and forgot about the previous day. I started painting. I have regained my freedom!’