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When writing a CV most of us tend to create a résumé that lists all of our achievements and accomplishments, in this way we manage to stand out of the crowd, compete against other candidates and ultimately get the job, promotion or opportunity we seek.  But, unfortunately, in this process, we construct an identity and persona that often does not live up to this idealized version of who we are.

While luckily most of us have indeed achieved great things that need celebration, most of us have also experience failure, loss and perhaps defeat.

Before getting into the perfect university, for instance, we may have had to work summers at our local supermarket to save for tuition, or waited tables to contribute towards our studies; maybe we had to travel to the other side of the world to pursue better education or career opportunities, and  had to fit into an unfamiliar and alien environment/culture.

Before attaining the perfect position, we may have had to struggled in school, had to take care of a parent, went through a break up or a divorce, we may have lost our possession or suffered an illness.

We all have experiences that have set us back in life, but most of us want to erase these out of our professional and life résumé.

When one year ago I was looking for someone to help me with art classes and advertised the position on my website, I started receiving CVs. Initially, I was looking for achievement and experience, but then I soon realized that the best CVs were not the one full of just great accomplishments, instead, they  were the honest ones:  those that listed not only the perfect careers and education, but also other jobs such as babysitting, or waitressing, as this showed me that a person was willing to work hard, and was not afraid to “serve people.”

As I went through this process, I realized that a good attitude, willingness to learn, “humbleness,” and a vision for shared success, as well as also achievement - but not this alone - was really what I was looking for.

Thus, I am not here to list all my accomplishments without sharing also some of my struggles.

What I hope to do is to give an honest account of what motivates my efforts, my lessons, my art and my vision.


Studio development and artist statement

I opened my studio and started giving classes in 2009, after pursuing my studies in art history and working in business, I wanted to create my own little place where people could relax and enjoy learning about art as well as work in the area I had studied – this for me was how I could feel most fulfilled, give something back to others, as well as earning an income.

When working in business – in the finance and administration department of a well know international software  company – I remember coming across an opportunity to internally pursue studies to became a qualified accountant – probably the safest path to a career and safe income, but not my heart's calling.

I then decided that if I was going to invest in a university qualification - I was 22/23 years old - I was going to do it in something I really enjoyed studying, so I enrolled in an evening degree program and kept my day job in business; a part from helping me fund my studies, it has given me plenty of experience in finance and administration, and the day to day running of a business.

After a couple of years into my degree, I moved to England with my now husband, there I was able to complete my studies and continue with postgraduate education in one of the most well known and established research university in the UK; studying there was an eye opening experience. I enjoyed the interdisciplinary approach, as well as the fact that we were made to question and approach our studies from sociological and political point of view, rather than learn dates and  the  aesthetics of beautiful art: we studied the context and historical background in which artwork were created, and saw how art can be a revolutional practice that serves democracy and questions the status quo, as well as at times also the tool of the oppressor.

Once we moved to Switzerland, I decided I didn’t want to go back to business but instead dedicate my efforts in working at what I had studied, and what suited my personality the most: the arts.

In the last 8 years the studio has focused mainly on art classes for adults as well as children, rather than the purely commercial side of art - although I have sold artwork and taken commissions as well, my focus has been mainly in providing a service to others through art classes.

The artwork I prefer to do is political, social and philosophical rather than market driven, yet, while a do not believe that “making money is art” I also do not support the “starving artist” idea either, and do believe that artworks should be fairly paid for and artists remunerated according to skills and qualifications, and, as in any other field, there are opportunities for making a living and receiving an adequate income - the fact that you cannot make money with art is as much as a myth as the fact that artist, to be successful, should become famous and only sell to rich collectors.

By work that is political, social and philosophical, I mean feminist, anti-racist, anti- classist, yet Marxist, and queer: open to interpretation and not fixed. When I do work that is static such as paintings, I keep it fluid through different methods such as the use of mirrors. The mirror pieces that I attach to my work are also reminiscent of mosaic and thus craft – with all that this also implies from a political and sociological perspective. I also enjoy experimenting with different mediums such as photography and video art, and whatever medium suits a particular project.

I am particularly interested in the feminine, and how to embrace it and embody it. I am interested in celebrating “feminine art” (flower paintings, craft, domestic art) and “feminine qualities” such as femininity, nurturing, caring, compassion and love, rather than turning the feminine into a masculine archetype of strength, market and competition - not that the feminine does not possess these qualities, I just feel we have been celebrating the latter and tramping overt the former, instead of appreciating both sides of the spectrum; Thus for me, a house wife or a stay at home mother can be as much as a feminist as a working woman.

But what is feminine and femininity? Is it connected to biology, or can men posses these qualities as well? By all means femininity is a broad category which does not belong to a specific gender or biological properties, but to whomever relates to it and would like to embrace it.

In my work I also explore issues of race as well as class.  Class and how we perceive it, a part from being culturally constructed, it is also culturally specific: some countries perceive it differently and give to it more importance than others; class, thus, is not a rigid category but is subject to change and interpretation.   

Coming from an area in Italy that relates to nobility and aristocracy, I like to blur the boundaries and challenge the fixicity in which people like to identify with a particular social class.

Being raised, from about 8 years old by a single British mother, with middle/upper class ideals and mannerism, having a middle/working class background, I have experience lower class status after my parents divorce. Growing up with friends and acquaintance that related to the history and identity of an aristocratic background - although often themselves from  middle/working class families - I like to explore all these different influences and celebrate them.

To this end, I sometimes take inspiration from the work of Girolamo Framcesco Maria Mazzola– an Italian Mannerist painter - and everything else that might inspire me. 

For more  activist work see here




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