*Featured photo: Sexy 6, crochet copper wire on canvas, 2019. Ph.credit Carole Peia
The prestigious Nino Cavallotti Scholarship established more than twenty years ago to support the new generations by helping them in their experiential and artistic journey this year was awarded by the Lions Club Torino La Mole section to Carole Peia, one of the Tramanda artists selected by the jury of the event for her work “Battigia”.
Born in Cuneo, graduated with full marks and right to publish, in Visual Arts and Performing Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, Carole Peia was already the recipient in 2015 of a scholarship for a six-month stay in Japan , in the prefecture of Iwate; during this time she attended a course in natural weaving and dyeing. Her master’s thesis “The common thread between art and society. From Fiber Art to Yarn Bombing “wins the” Giancarlo e Marialuisa Sponga 2016 “competition dedicated to young researchers in the field of textile arts. This recognition allowed her to enroll in the master “Textile – creation of artistic fabrics” at the Lisio Silk Art Foundation in Florence, where she graduated in 2018.
Her artistic research of fusion between sculptural plasticity and woven lightness includes both classic materials linked to the textile world, such as fabrics, ropes, wools and cottons, and more plastic materials with a strong sculptural rigidity, like metals, wood, stone and concrete.
Carole Peia talks about herself in the interview she gave us on the occasion of the award ceremony.
SEXY#3, crochet copper wire on canvas, 31x22x2 cm 2017. Ph.credit Carole Peia
In the middle of your sculpture course you discovered weaving. What happened?
Our works take shape through techniques. My interest in the world of fiber in the artistic field was born following the thesis of the first three years at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, thanks to which I was able to learn about the first examples of textile art that later I deepened.
The thesis developed as a comparison between different generations of feminist artists, in which I treated, among others, the work of the Portuguese Joana Vasconcelos. From there my in-depth study for the master’s thesis, entitled “The common thread between art and society. From Fiber Art to Yarn Bombing “. The discovery of a world in which fiber was used as an artistic medium was a real discovery: the possibility of deepening the historical bases, especially those most contemporary to us, stimulated me to research and study authors and examples. The many artists I found gave me an overview of the infinite communicative possibilities of these materials, the meanings and applications of these techniques. Starting from these theoretical interests, I wanted to try to combine the fabric, light and soft element within my sculptural expressive research. The predilection for these techniques then led me to look for courses, masters and residences in order to master several different techniques that I could use in a practical way.
Sexy 7, crochet copper wire on canvas, 2020. Ph.credit Carole Peia
Traditional but with a variety of materials. What are the reasons behind this experimentation? Which do you prefer and for what characteristics?
I believe that the need for the artisan memory of the art of thread, which is increasingly relegated to the world of craftsmanship and to the sphere of decoration, is fundamental.Mine is an attempt to further ennoble these ancient and complex craftsmanship skills, to bring them back into vogue and show them from a new point of view. Combining my sculptural training – linked to plastic, rigid and cold materials – with soft art, allows me to experience tradition in an original way. Mine is a research made of contrasts and opposites that are constantly altering.
As for the methods, the “off loom” techniques, especially the crochet, allow me a greater possibility of using materials with a certain sculptural rigidity (copper, tin, aluminum).
Sexy 7, detail, crochet copper wire on canvas, 2020. Ph.credit Carole Peia
How are your works born?
They arise from a vision, experience, situation or journey that give me an emotion, consequently the need arises to communicate it through something three-dimensional and tangible. These are not ideas that arise from a sketch or a drawing, rather from a concept, an intuition. Subsequently there is an aesthetic study and an analysis of the possibilities of the material, with the consequent choice of materials.
What are the themes around which your artistic research is articulated and in which direction is your work moving?
The femininity inherent in the art of thread work is an essential reason for my artistic career, in which I convey themes and arguments that I consider fundamental, which treated with the traditional techniques of the female universe take on particular empathy and meaning for me.The topics I face concern the social issues of today’s world, especially those closest to me, such as the female question in today’s society, and what revolves around pre-established and ghettoizing gender roles. Despite the great progress in social achievements and rights in recent decades, the contradictions are still very evident, and I believe it is essential to talk about them and express my idea about them through art.
At the same time, my work looks to memory, as a fundamental element of awareness and consciousness. At the moment, in fact, I am dedicating myself to the interpretation of traditional techniques as if they were traces of a distant past, almost fossils and artifacts.
Sample cube#10, cement and copper, approx. 25x20x25 cm, 2020. Ph.credit Carole Peia
How has your artistic practice changed over time?
Continuous research and exercise have allowed me to refine the methodologies and aesthetic choices: from an essentially sculptural departure there has been an increasingly conscious preference for dedicating myself to warmer, lighter and more fluid materials such as fabrics and yarns, up to arrive at a fair mixture.
What relationship do you have with your works?
Although with aesthetic research and meaning, some works for me are essentially technical exercises, tests and methods to refine the various techniques. Others, made with greater inspiration, have a great emotional value for me: they are connected to particular moments, feelings and situations that bind me to the memory of the moment of realization. I happen to suffer in separating myself from one of my works, I am consoled to think that there will be someone else who will be able to take care of it, love it and appreciate it.
Aracne, exhausted rock ropes, installation, 300x300x10 cm, 2019. Ph. Credit Sacha Pardini
Who are the artists who have influenced you the most?
The artists who inspire me most and in whom I reflect myself for poetics and expressive methodologies are: Maria Lai and Maja Bajevic. Of great inspiration, for the mixture of sculpture and textile arts, there is also Magdalena Abakanowicz.
What are the short and long term projects?
From a practical point of view, I would like to learn the needle lace technique and Bulgarian embroidery as soon as possible.
Again, given that the world of art, exhibitions and competitions has finally started again, now my goal is to resume being able to exhibit with a certain frequency, since I find it stimulating to compare myself with critics, with other authors and the public. Projecting myself into the future, sooner or later I would like to be able to exhibit overseas and again in the East.