Preview Art presentation held in Spoleto until mid-January. The second edition of the Fiber Biennial was held in Spoleto until mid-January. It was organised by the Associazione Officina d’Arte e Tessuti di Spoleto and was sponsored by the Region of Umbria, the Municipality of Spoleto and the Museo Nazionale del Ducato – Rocca Albornoziana.
The fibres are the starting point for the creation of works of art. The underlying theme is research and the testimonies are the space left to young artists who attend the Academies of Fine Arts and seek their artistic expression through languages, materials, techniques, together with established artists, rich in experience. Thanks to their commitment, a sort of ecosystem is created where the contribution of the individual is perceived as participation in a common vision of art and culture.
This project stems from research into the links between craftsmanship and art and, starting from the observation that we live in a time in which the fragmentation of the visual arts results in the difficulty of expressing and transmitting a consolidated cultural identity. It proposes to experiment with the possibility of reunifying artistic expressions despite their different specificities. In particular, it starts from the observation that handmade textile production itself has its own expressive power that contrasts with the uniformity and trivialisation of the industrial product in our daily lives and is something that almost transcends materiality as it evokes an origin. In conclusion, we can say that a textile artefact has a life of its own, a sort of soul that is transmitted to those who know how to appreciate it, and this is what can interact with art, offering an expressive outlet for artists.
Today we are with Sara Bonassisa, who explains in detail her work on fibre art and introduces us to this new concept of art. Let’s start with this interview!
Hi Sara, thank you for accepting this collaboration. I would like to start by asking you something about your childhood and your first approach to art.
Hello, first I would like to thank you for this extraordinary opportunity.
I would like to start by saying that I still attend the Academy of Fine Arts in Foggia, the city where I was born and grew up, but my passion for art, and in particular for the visual arts, did not emerge immediately, but developed over time. I remember that during my secondary school years, my approach to the arts was anything but positive, so I would never have imagined specializing in this field. My first real approach to art came during my final year, thanks to the arrival of a new teacher who got me interested in drawing. From that moment on, having fallen in love with art, I enrolled in the Liceo Artistico where I began, thanks to the support of some teachers whom I would like to thank very much, to actively participate in exhibitions, performances and projects that helped me grow artistically. In 2017, I began my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in March 2021, with top marks in painting, and I am still continuing my studies, specializing in the same field.
So, with this small summary of my life, I want to highlight the importance of having someone willing to believe in you, and above all how important it is to have an institutional figure ready to guide you and bring out your abilities.
What has influenced you the most? Do you have an artist who has influenced you?
When I was growing up, I never had a particular artist that I referred to. I think that every artist or any person who wants to approach art for the first time should get to know more artists, both past and present, try new styles and techniques and try not to stop at just one artist, but broaden their knowledge and have new experiences, so this is the only way to find your own identity. I think these are fundamental factors in these areas.
In the Fiber project, you made a work related to the oceans. What links you to nature?
I think nature is at the centre of everything. Nature is a fundamental factor in my works and I often take inspiration from it for their creation. Naturalistic elements, in my opinion, have always been used in art and allow the viewer to identify with what they are seeing.
What advice would you give to people approaching art for the first time? And in particular to fibre art?
I have to tell the truth, the world of Fiber Art is new to me as well, in fact Oceanic Fiber is the first work I have made that focuses on this type of art. The world of Fiber is literally a ‘weave’ that binds body and soul. In my opinion, this type of work is not necessarily planned and studied, but is born gradually, and then modified later in the course of the work, according to the feelings and needs that the artist wants to highlight in that type of work.
Your work evinces a sense of lightness, also given by the materials used. Do you think this is a fundamental value to seek in the world in which we live? Why?
My work is inspired by lightness as a value to be sought in the real world. This choice was not random, but wants to highlight how, especially in these difficult times due to the pandemic that we are all facing, this physical but above all mental lightness should be sought by every individual to cope with various situations in life. The choice of jellyfish was not random either, but underlines how these particular, sinuous creatures follow the flow of the tides and therefore symbolically those of life. The choice of materials recalls a sense of lightness; in fact the work is made entirely of gauze, string, wire and fabrics, all of which have been worked with weaves and filaments.
Within your work, how do you connect the earthly world with the underwater world?
These two worlds, although different, have some similar factors. One thing they have in common is animals. In the Renaissance, some well-known artists depicted them in their works, either in the company of humans or alone, and they often had a symbolic language. So in my work I wanted to take up this factor.
What advice would you give to someone seeing your work for the first time?
I would advise them not to stop and look at the work from the outside, but to try to identify with the artist who created it, understand his emotions and interpret it personally.
What feelings do you think are aroused by seeing your work?
The ocean attracts us, induces us to explore it, but despite this it still remains mysterious and full of secrets, so you never know what to expect from it, just like art. That is why I have dedicated my work to the underwater world, because it makes me feel free just like my works, which I am very fond of. The fascinating thing about art is that it is very subjective, so everyone can interpret it as they wish.
White is a recurring colour in your work. Is there a particular reason?
Oceanic Fiber, as I explained earlier, is a work inspired by lightness. The choice of white is therefore not random, but highlights candour and purity, elements which, in my opinion, enhance the strong naturalness of the work.
Here is the last question. Are you working on any new projects? If so, can you tell us about it?
During my academic career, I am creating many works using new materials and techniques, which are pushing me towards new studies, both artistic and intellectual. In each of my works, I always try to associate a deep meaning, which helps the viewer to reflect but also to see differently what surrounds us. I sincerely hope that I will succeed.
Thank you very much for this interview! We hope to hear from you soon. See you soon!