Luisa de Santi Contemporary knitted jewels

Italiano (Italian)

Curated by: Bianca Cappello
Casa Internazionale delle Donne – Via della Lungara, 19 Roma
An event hosted by Roma Jewelry Week (13-15 October 2021) 
Art director: Monica Cecchini
Opening: 12 October at 5pm (free admission subject to available places)
Dates: from 13 to 16 October 2021
Hours 9.00 – 19.30; Saturday 9.00 – 13.30

Textile Arts are nurtured and raised inside handcraft, manual cultures and female matters.

These days, textile art crosses domestic and white cube galleries walls to express its potential as a contemporary Jewel or wearable sculpture.

Soft, colourful, and beautifully crafted by female hands, knitted jewels embrace and transform the body with a gentle touch.

The jewel is kind and sustainable, made by re-purposing ancient techniques. Today, it can speak about the female universe and its change by using a completely new language. Moreover, it fashionably dresses the body in line with the current feminine status: able to be ironic thanks to solid self-awareness.

Through the sculptural jewels of Luisa de Santi, one of the leading textile artists in Italy, this exhibition wants to address the art of crafting threads by showing its potential as a contemporary jewel.

“In my work, I engage with techniques that are usually considered a female hobby (crochet, knitting and embroidery). Those are popular techniques, familiar and easily recognisable. They allow me to play, symbolically and ironically, with the wire technical virtuosity. Thread is for me an open pathway, to create anything possible, a world in which the boundaries between desire and reality, hope and illusion do not exist.” Luisa De Santi

This small, extraordinarily colourful and surprising exhibition redefines traditional knitwear methods. Moreover, it offers an up to date point of view about reality, addressing the Rights of Women and the Fight against Violence and Femicide. For this reason, the International Women’s House in Rome was chosen as the event’s setting and container. An important landmark arose from the feminist claims of the 1970s for the freedom and self-determination of women.

Bianca Cappello, jewellery art historian and critic and the project’s curator, considers Jewels one of society’s main linguistic and expressive manifestations. She addresses the subject at 360 °.

In contemporary jewels, the panorama is broad and encompasses various materials and techniques. The exhibition aims to clear common beliefs considering the jewel as a precious object and knitting as a technique belonging to an aesthetic of the past.

“In the last 10 years, the aesthetic culture has been and still is shaken by rapid and straightforward changes. Paradigms of femininity have been rewritten as well as the parameters to evaluate a jewel preciousness and value. In this new language, Eco-sustainability and artistic know-how convey personality and self-awareness. Luisa De Santi’s Jewels admirably do this.” Bianca Cappello

Luisa De Santi specialises in needlework and embroidery that she takes to a three-dimensional and performative form. She’s trained as Artist and teacher. She has 15-year of experience of work in children’s theater and puppetry (Marionette di Podrecca Teatro Stabile del Friuli Venezia Giulia).

She creates artworks, one-of-a-kind textile jewellery, and she designs “DIY” jewellery samples with instructions.
She creates and curate installation, yarn bombing and public performances.
She’s a book’s author and collaborator for editorial projects (RCS Collezioni, Fabbri Publishing, Centauria Creativa, Giunti).
She presented her jewellery collections and textile accessories for Pitti Immagine at Milano Moda Donna prét-a-porter. In addition, she has worked for companies in fashion and home decor and for private clients.

Her creations and samples were exhibited at Pitti Filati in Florence for the Millefili company.
Her latest crochet creations were presented at Dolce & Gabbana spring/summer 2020 collection and Firenze Alta Sartoria.
Since 2009 she has been invited to exhibit her creations and teach her techniques in international craft fairs and events.
Since 2014, she founded and has been the creative director of Picknitartcafe Apps.
She participated in solo and group exhibitions in the main Textile Art events in Italy and worldwide (among these in recent years: 2021, BID Biennale Internazionale Donna, Trieste; 2020, Art Paper International, Switzerland; AESON Festival (arts in nature) Secret Parco Isonzo event (Udine); InsOrti Festival of performing art, Bologna; 2019, Paratissima Art Fair, Turin; Knitting & Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace London UK; Miniartextile, Busto Arsizio; 2017, Creattiva, Bergamo; Tree Yarn Bombing, Festival Filosofia, Villa Giacobazzi Sassuolo; 2015, Installation Barcolana 47 international regatta; Project and Installation “Covered by Guinness”, Piazza Unità d’Italia for AISM Trieste fundraising; Crochet Day: Flash Mob and performance in Piazza della Scala – installation in the Napoleonic courtyard of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in, Milan; 2014, Exhibition of Hand Embroidery and Valtopina Artisan Textile, Perugia; 2014, Creature di filo, Palazzo Bonin Longare, Vicenza; Yarn Bombing: A scarf for Saba, Svevo and Joyce, Trieste).

Creatura 1 (L’amore non giudica con gli occhi) 2017

Bianca Cappello is a curator, historian of Art and Jewellery and Contemporary Jewellery critic. She’s a professor of History of Applied Art at the European Institute of Design in Milan, of Jewellery Culture at the Advanced Training in Fashion Archives and Fashion Management by the “Agenzia Formazione al Lavoro” of Milan, of History of Art and Jewellery at CFP Galdus department of Goldsmithing and artistic metalworking in Milan. In addition, she collaborates with Italian Universities and Academies of Fine Arts as coordinator and curator of conferences, workshops and seminars on the Culture of Jewellery.

She is the author of numerous publications on the History of Jewellery with the leading Italian publishing houses, among her latest publications: Gioielli di Vetro dalla Preistoria al III Millennio, Antiga, 2021; Storia della Fibbia tra Moda e Gioiello, Skira 2018; Corbella, Prima Fabbrica Italiana di Gioielli e Armi per il Teatro, Silvana editoriale 2018; Carta Preziosa, il Design del Gioiello di Carta, Skira 2017; Splendida Persia, visioni nel gioiello, Universitas Studiorum, 2017; Il Gioiello nel Sistema Moda, Storia, Design, Produzione, Skira, 2017; Storia della Bigiotteria Italiana, Skira, 2016; Indossare la Bellezza, Sillabe, 2015; Il Gioiello Funzionale, Marsilio, 2014.

She writes essays and articles for the leading scientific journals in Jewellery while curating exhibitions for museums and public bodies and acting as a curatorial consultant for museums and private collections.

She’s a member of the London Society of Jewellery Historians.

She is the scientific consultant of the Rome Jewellery Week 2021, first edition.