*Featured photo: Lidia Meneghini – Entramado, Vall de Gallinera. Ph. Credit Elena Redaelli
BETWEEN TEXTILE DESIGN AND NATURE
Lidia Meneghini, alias LEME, is a textile artist researching the edge between sculpture, tailoring and collage.
After seven years of working as an assistant in a sculpture workshop, Lidia graduated in Arts and Performing Arts at the IUAV (Venice) in 2012. In the same year, she won a scholarship for the master in “Bag Design and Product Development” at IUAV + Bottega Veneta.
In 2016, she moved to Valencia, Spain, then she began a collaboration with the Opera Palau de les Arts costume atelier. She is currently an active member of the Italian Collagists Collective ~ ICC (the first Italian collective by artists who use collage as a means of expression) alongside developing environmental art projects.
LEME, collage, Galleria Bianconi, Milano. Ph. Credit Lidia Meneghini
Many years of experience in the theatrical field, international collaborations and a multidisciplinary approach enrich a sensitive and imaginative personality that combines technical skill, irony and sensibility.
“My speciality is to give shape to ideas, creating sensitive forms that can be touched and not just looked at. For me, creation is based on continuous research that focuses on the tactile sensations given by materials: fabric, leather, wood, or stone.
The material selection process varies through study and manipulation, from the preparatory drawing or prototype to the final form.
Inspired by natural elements, my work wants to overcome common aesthetic values. By maintaining a dialogue between the material and its context of origin, I aspire to make people reflect on the environment in which we live.
The action of returning a material transformed by a sculptural intervention to nature adds conceptual value; it animates a reflection on where we are and what we do.
The weaving technique becomes a metaphor for phenomena that interfere with one another, to talk about the history of a place and give attention to environmental and social changes. Therefore, each work is considered a symbol derived from the synthesis of natural elements and their social significance”, says LEME.
Entramado, Vall de Gallinera. Ph. Credit Marino Dares
Currently visible in the beautiful natural setting of Val de Gallinera (Alicante) is the installation that the artist from Veneto has created within the Enclave LandArt residence programme.
“Entramado” is a site-specific work created in close relationship with the environment of “La Carroja”, one of the eight municipalities that, together, form the municipality of La Vall de Gallinera.
Meneghini’s work is a diffuse installation that consists of several elements located along the path linking La Carroja to Benialì. On the trail, the artist made several interventions aiming to create alternative points of view, meditative spaces for contemplation, giving the visitors an excuse to stop and observe, allowing more profound material dialogues with the morphological peculiarities of the place. To do this, Lidia collected stones from the riverbed, fallen branches from trees and leaves, weaving these elements onto a vertical loom, thus joining two big pine trees and creating a new spatial dimension.
“The aim of this installation was to create a suspended space where to stop and contemplate the beauty of the landscape; to create a perceptive experience with a strong emotional impact”, she tells us.
Starting with a careful design activity that combined drawing and the preparation of three-dimensional prototypes, Meneghini planned her interventions carefully.
The work was selected to participate in the residency through a competitive international call for projects based on this compelling design idea.
Entramado – Project. Ph. Credit Lidia Meneghini
From the preliminary design at LEME’s studio desk in Valencia to the reality of La Carroja’s landscape, Meneghini had to deal with the site’s actual requirements. The lines turned to space and volume, becoming weavings following fallen branches’ organic and irregular shapes. Natural fibres’ threads softly adapt to wood, as in the main work or to stone, as in one of the less visible interventions that the artist has scattered along the route like treasures to be discovered.
The research into natural materials is not new to Meneghini, who has previously tackled sustainability issues with her design projects. An example of the artist’s multidisciplinary approach is a bags’ capsule collection that combines in single objects rigid materials such as wood with a softer one such as leather, giving one the characteristics of the other. “An object is perceived through the senses: this is why touch is essential, and the use of two different materials, leather and wood, highlights this form of perception.” According to Meneghini, the bags thus acquire emotional aspects through the exploratory possibilities of the senses. The interweaving is at the basis of these bags/sculptures, poised between objects to be worn and functional works of art.
Frame collection, wood, lather and metal. Ph. Credit Lidia Meneghini
In collaboration with the Milanese design studio CTRLZAK, Lidia has developed several projects, including the interesting Flagmented, which combines traditional fabrics from different cultures, European and Chinese, in a single object. The project conceptually implies overcoming strict codes and cultural expressions. On a technical level, this idea is achieved by combining classic European embroidery and Toile de Jouy with traditional Chinese fabrics to form unique pieces that literally stitch together different realities. The resulting work is a ‘flag’ that identifies the possibility of a new era of globalisation and hybrid culture.
Lidia Meneghini is steadily developing her practice, and we look forward to seeing her create a new work soon. You can follow LEME on her website and social media channels: