Michela Cavagna’s BLUE FOREST on exhibition in Todi

Curated by Barbara Pavan
Gallery ARTOUT Contemporary Art Ground
via del Mercato Vecchio 2, Todi (PG) ITALY
April 25 – May 21 2023
Opening: Saturday April 15 2023 at 5 PM
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BLUE FOREST, the immersive installation by Michela Cavagna (Biella, 1971), curated by Barbara Pavan, opens on Saturday April 15 2023, at 5 PM, in the spaces of the gallery ARTOUT Contemporary Art Ground, via del Mercato Vecchio 2, in Todi (Perugia, Italy), with the patronage of the Municipality of Todi.

The exhibition

Between dreamlike reminiscence and childhood memory, Blue Forest returns an autobiographical narration which, through the multiplication of reflections it brings with it, assumes a universal character.

The project, supported by Piacenza Cashmere, is a large immersive installation made with waste material from industrial textile processing in an upcycling consistent with the artist’s research that refers to the aesthetic principles of Japanese culture here explained in the use of the embroidery technique sashiko that with boro (from Japanese: “something tattered or repaired”) praises imperfection. Traditionally, the reuse of old darned fabrics was a necessity and a philosophy of life that attributed value to sobriety, cyclicality, the circularity of things. Unlike the popular concept of mending used in Italy (where the torn fabric is hidden by a piece of another) boro enhances the anomaly which itself becomes an aesthetic element.

Enchanted or frightening forest depending on the evolution of the events that animated it, the one that inhabited the artist’s dreams as a child was declined precisely in shades of blue: it represented the unconscious, imaginary and fantastic response to the dimension of everyday life. In delivering those dreams one by one to reality, however, time has gradually darkened the tones and shades, turning into an ineluctable and definitive black. The Blue Forest here evokes a common and widespread condition, the asphyxiated sensation that we feel when we discover ourselves overwhelmed by the germination of the many seeds planted during our life and which have become trees with bulky stems that seem to draw energy by subtracting it from the roots, depriving the days of the rays of the sun with their luxuriant hair and relegating aspirations and projects to a shadow that heralds oblivion.

Initiatory place for excellence in fairy tales and tales, the forest is the metaphor of existence with its infinite paths, its dizzying heights projected towards the sky, the alternation of the light that filters through the branches and the darkness that alludes to the mystery that dwells between visible and invisible, the tension between the need for stability entrusted to deep roots and the yearning for freedom, between the urgency of concreteness and the desire for escape, for lightness. Labyrinthine, protective and threatening at the same time, it is the place for discovery, exploration and the search for one’s own paths.

Whatever road you are taking, Michela Cavagna invites you to explore its most hidden meanders, to cross your own forest defeating fears, overcoming obstacles, tracing a new very personal path, rediscovering the marvel kept here since childhood and, not lastly, the plurality of perspectives of the present and the future that the saving light of ancient dreams still illuminates, nourishes and guides.

The exhibition will be open until May 212023.

The artist

Growing up in an environment where nature and textile industry have shaped her life and her vision of the world, after studying art and a degree in Architecture, she built a wealth of experience on materials with a particular predilection for the raw materials and the research and analysis of the profound meaning that each material can convey by seeking new contaminations. She spent some years in Indonesia where she discovered and experienced an art linked to local traditions and materials. Among her recent solo exhibitions: (2023) Fiberstorming, Salone Italia WTA World Textile Art, Bergamo; XS Project, BAF Bergamo Arte Fiera and Gina Morandini Contemporary Textile Art Gallery, Maniago (PN); (2022) Paratissima, Savoir-faire, Turin; (2021) Iris. Winter (and then it will be spring), BI-BOx Art Gallery, Biella; (2018) I inhabits: rooms, cities, dreams and fears, Italian Cultural Institute, Jakarta. And among the latest group exhibitions: Gioiello scomposto, Casa Museo Boschi di Stefano, curated by Anty Pansera Patrizia Sacchi, Milan; (2021) Borderline Festival, LAYERS, curated by Erika Lacava and Barbara Pavan, Scuderia di Palazzo d’Adda, Varallo Sesia; The yearning for the irrational, Casa Regis Contemporary Art Biella; Elizabeth Zavoli. Velvet butterflies. Journey to transgender Indonesia, Modena Palazzo dei Musei, Luigi Poletti Civic Library of Art and Architecture; Terra Promessa, IlluminAmatrice Festival of Contemporary Arts, with the patronage of the Lazio Region and the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park, Amatrice.