RICCIO melina

1951 . ariano iripino . italy

Melina Riccio is the mother of three children and originally a dressmaker. In 1983, while exhibiting a collection of home accessories at an international trade fair, she was shocked by her encounters with customers who were interested only in money. This experience showed her the “depravity of a world interested only in profits” and gradually caused such a deep depression that she had to be hospi- talized. There, she asked God for advice – which she soon found in the form of a discarded rotting apple, to which she felt an affinity both because of her given name (Melina means “apple” in Italian) and because of her sense that she, too, was “half good and half rotten.” She burned her savings and, guided by God, left her family in search of the truth. Thus began a long period of suffering and the occasional institutionalization. She has spent this time traveling throughout Italy with her message of human togetherness, which she spreads using various means, including graffiti, embroidery and poetry.