*Featured photo: Federica Cipriani Social IMPRITING installation with variable dimensions and mixed media, 2020
Harmony, movement and identity are the main themes of Federica Cipriani’s artistic research, a multi-material artist who reflects on the natural sphere and on identity building through works that are mostly installations. She graduated in Decoration from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows in Italy and abroad.
In your artistic research, the investigation of nature plays a decisive role. Where does the interest for this subject come from?
I love observing what surrounds me: I have always found Nature to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Both the plant and animal worlds are characterised by a beauty and harmony that make them a perfect starting point for the creation of a work: I take my cue from nature to create metaphors useful for expressing concepts associated with the human sphere and its social dimension.
Your works include flocks, butterflies, nests or wings… just to give a few examples. These are elements that are confronted with a precise action, that of flying. Is this recurring aspect that links your works deliberate or is it the result of coincidence?
I set my eyes and thus my attention on the world of birds because they perfectly represent what I want to express with my works. Watching a flock in flight, one cannot fail to be fascinated by the harmony with which it produces forms through movement, a movement that is only apparently random, but is, in reality, governed by precise logics that concern the group as a whole.
I have never sought a direct reference to flight, but rather a reference to the sense of freedom it conveys. I think the work Maybe Again represents well, with its clipped feathers, the sense of constraint and limitation of a freedom that is intended as internal.
CocooNest is a work that weaves together different themes including: personal experience, identity building but also the idea of home as a refuge. Can you tell us how this work came about and what it represents for you?
CocooNest was the first nest I made, the first in a series that led to the installation Social Imprinting
I participated in the Cramum Prize in 2019 and the work was born from a reflection on the theme of the competition: a sentence from Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason. I analysed what was the process that shaped a person’s identity and thus their morality. The Nest/Cocoon (hence the title CocooNest) seemed to me the appropriate form to represent the most intimate and individual sphere. I then completely lined the inside of this inner ‘house’ with a paper blanket that also extends outwards.
The fragments of this covering are actually details of photographs of my past and of those who have contributed to my education, starting with my family and ending with other people who have influenced my choices, and thus my identity.
You told me some time ago that it is an unfinished work because the plot emerging from the hollow is systematically enriched with new fragments of photographs of loved ones, when might it be considered finished?
I am viscerally attached to this work: it is the materialisation and visualisation of many experiences and affections that belong to me intimately and is constantly evolving. In the weave of paper that makes its way from the inside of the installation to the outside world, I will add – over the years – fragments of experiences and people who will influence my life.
Recently, your solo exhibition at the Magi 900 Museum featured the work Reloaded Wings, with protagonists two large wings, how do you choose your subjects and the materials with which they are made?
The work Reloaded Wings was created based on the observation of nature and the behaviour of certain species. This consists of two metal wings adorned with small strips of paper, in the same way that some species of parrots have learnt to carry material for building their nests. The title and thus the word ‘reloaded’ holds the key to understanding the work.
Reloaded and ready to take flight towards the nest, each wing carries with it, imprinted on paper, images and memories; those past experiences and emotions that metaphorically “recharge” and give impetus to face the future.
From a technical point of view, the wing is made of an industrial stainless steel mesh, very common and very unpoetic, which I fell in love with, however, for the great plastic potential I believe it hides.
This was the work that conceptually united all those present at the Magi 900 Museum during the solo exhibition ‘Impronte nel Vento’ (Footprints in the Wind). (https://youtu.be/OPsDgVKfZAU )
What do you think is the task of an artist today?
I believe that the artist, today as in the past, must create something that gives cause for reflection and at the same time enriches those who enjoy her/his work. I personally believe that we should all slow down and learn to look at what surrounds us with more attention and depth, and to notice the details because it is in the details that the magic lies.
What are your future plans?
I have new collaborations coming up and many ideas to develop.