Federica Galli was born in Soresina and spent her youth in the countryside around Cremona.
Thence wath Testori calls her “lombardita’ ” or “padanita’ “, the somehow over-whelming feeling of being born in the Lombard valley of the river Po.
What is this feeling then? It is the result of, as Federica herself remembers, “perching on the apple’s branches for hours on end, to understand trees”.
This she used to do in her childhood near Cremona.
“Understand” trees: she could not possibly have used a better word. Immersed as she was in the nature of that Lombard landscape, ready to receive, humble and curious as only a child can be, Federica filled her soul with that nature, slowly understanding it.
She could grasp the mystery of its contradictions, she could grasp its universal laws.
She could understand that the perfection of that nature was not a static, given truth, was not a state of motionless impassive beauty. Or that was not all of it…
Federica has then nature in herself, with nature she measures everything.
When in her hunts, or better her pilgrimages, she spots that tree, that farm or that ditch, it is as if she could suddenly taste the madeleine, if she could taste the Time Past.
In sheer excitement she searches in herself, in the nature which is part of herself, the remembrance and the confirmation of the inner truth that that very tree is the sign of peace she was looking for. But nature in her own blood has no dimension, no measure, it cannot be engraved on a copper plate. It needs a size to it, a measure, an excuse, a madeleine.
A few lines will then suffice, a few dots to give the memory a size, a volume.
A few lines and a few dots which only reality can provide.
Federica, who knows nature better than any of us, knows that nature can not be invented: and that its phenomena are not like the fixed rules of a well-known law.
Nature’s perfection, its absolute magnitude, reveals itself always new, unexpected, always surprising even to the artist who is its daughter and its lover.
Federica knows that if she invented a tree which did not exist she would arrogate to herself a right which is not hers, she knows that she would betray the silent oath she took caressing the apple tree’s bark.
[from: “Federica Galli – Acqueforti”, David Landau, Ed. Compagnia del disegno – Milano – oct. 1982]