Last Friday was the opening night for the PATTERN exhibition at Eleni Marneri Gallery and I had the pleasure of meeting the wonderful artists whose work was shown for the first time in Athens.
The different personalities and cultural backgrounds of the 9 artists served as the basis for the exhibition. Chiara Cavallo is from Rome, Lena Grabher and Anna Drexel are from Austria, Lavinia Rossetti from Pisa, Enrica Prazzoli is also Italian. Nur Terün is from Turkey, Francesca Urciuoli from Perugia, Azahara Santoro from Valencia and Valentina Caporali from Turin.
A few of the 200 memory-filled plastic cups created by Azahara to decorate Alchimia’s spring window found their way to the gallery. Azahara used different colors, plants and objects that remind her of her past. Four of the nine artists, all Italians, were present at the opening; I’ve taken some pictures for you to see and tried to remember all the things we talked about.
Chiara was the ‘quietest’ of the four and yet she was the first one to take the initiative to talk to me about her work. She explained that she had experimented with paper and inspired by the morning and evening sky she created forms reminiscent of clouds and sunsets. The pieces are big and very light; the brooches are constructed in such a way that the wearer can also see their backs while wearing them.
The second part of her work was based on a self-portrait exercise; Chiara told me that she likes being organized and that she works very methodically and in a very structured way so that her fellow students say she’s like a working bee. Taking that as a starting point, Chiara created necklaces and earrings out of bronze and gold.
Unlike the rest of the group, who graduated from Alchimia a few months ago, Valentina just finished her second year in Florence. She loves working with natural materials like wood and stones. She has studied anthropology and is very interested in how craftsmen created jewellery thousands of years ago. She uses tree branches and handmade hemp thread for her necklaces and found wooden pieces for brooches and pendants.
At the exhibition, she was wearing the first pendant she ever created and explained that is is very precious to her and cannot part with it. Both of the following necklaces are proof of a very meticulous and patient work. She cut branches and connected them with hemp thread; the first one expresses ‘order’ and the second one ‘chaos’ to express how things may start out harmoniously but eventually get out of hand.
The first things one notices about Lavinia are her Tuscan temperament and her wonderful smile. Some of Lavinia’s pieces are the result of experimenting with a process of burning and coloring sponges (see necklace below). Lavinia also created very impressive earrings and necklaces, which she made by soldering together very small pieces of metal.
“I talk with my hands, a lot” told me Enrica Prazzoli, who decided to use this aspect of herself and create brooches that show how she communicates in her own sign language. She dips wire in a mixture of plastic and color to create words or phrases and communicate with the viewer. At the exhibition she was wearing her favorite brooch, one specific hand sign that is very popular in Italy. Can you guess what it is?
Thank you Eleni Marneri Gallery for organizing the exhibition and thank you girls for coming to Athens and talking to us!
Congratulations to all of you for the wonderful pieces!
And thank you for reading 😉