Chiara Pozzi and Illustrazioni Seriali look to elevate illustration as an art form
Chiara’s creative platform Illustrazioni Seriali has created its first purely illustrative artist residency “Spazi”, asking illustrators to respond to the theme of space.
- Harry Bennett
- 4 November 2020
Chiara Pozzi intends to raise illustration’s standing after feeling that the field was “massively ignored by the art system,” the former gallery manager turned art residency founder tells us, leading her to set up Illustrazioni Seriali in 2017.
Based in Milan, the platform focuses on the personal endeavours and curatorial works of both Italian and international illustrators, creating a space for them to “research and propagate the knowledge of the art of illustration and figurative painting” in an editorial and digital space. After curating Milano’s first Affordable Art Fair in 2019 and again in 2020, the organisation has now curated its first artist residency titled Spazi (Italian for ‘Spaces'), taking place at the renowned graphic-arts and screen printing studio Fallani Venezia.
“Fallani has a long history,” Chiara explains, “it was founded in 1968 and has collaborated with many established Italian artists,” shifting more towards visual arts and illustration in recent years. With Spazi entirely focusing on illustrators, Chiara tells us “I had this fantastic opportunity to contact and then work with some of my favourite women artists,” with Ana Popescu, Martina Paukova, Charlotte Trounce, Michela Picchi, Beya Rebaï and Elenia Beretta selected for the residency.
The theme of ‘Spazi’ arrose from the erasure of personal space in the weeks of serious lockdown Italy faced this year. “We all had to learn how to recalibrate, to restrict, to transform, to experience differently,” Chiara explains, suggesting that the breadth of the theme lends itself well to artistic expansion. “It gave them great freedom of interpretation in the creation of their works,” she tells us, allowing the illustrators the time, space, funds and equipment to further explore not simply the theme itself but their own practice.
“It was really challenging to see the six works that are linked by the same fil-rouge,” Chiara recalls, selecting illustrators that vary so drastically in style as well as typical techniques and processes – from more academically led to visually focused work and from digitally heavy practices to purely artisanal. This led to a beautiful series of fascinating explorations of space; such as Berlin-based Italian illustrator Elenia Beretta who utilised watercolours alongside screen-printing in scrutinising the essential elements of space that she found most important to her – “the mental space, the physical space, and the space of feelings.”
GalleryIllustrazioni Seriali: Spazi residency. Photo by Aurora Ricciolini, artwork courtesy of the artist and Fallani Venezia
Edinburgh-based English artist Charlotte Trounce used wax crayons in representing the green space that occupied her during the limited government mandated hours of freedom, whilst Brussells-based Beya Rebaï documented the Venitian Garden of eden with her magical expression of pastel coloured landscapes. Berlin-based multidisciplinary artist Michela Picchi took a surrealist view on the concept of space, described by Chiara as creating “a sequence of digital arches and scenographies, and the dreamlike presence of a splendid white horse.”
Other interpretations, the likes of Slovakian illustrator Martina Paukova, approached the theme with a greater sense of realism, removing elements from the work to make space a leading figure. “Space seems to be almost missing,” Chiara explains, “a frame from life in lockdown, between computers, telephones, objects scattered in a room, and an armchair,” that sits alone to welcome her skeptical character. Viennese-Romanian illustrator Ana Popescu, true to her distinctive style, painted a poetic still life; attentively decadent in her contortion of space, light, shadows and the relationships between the three.
In the end, Chiara Pozzi and Illustrazioni Seriali have set up a beam of expression and positivity in an increasingly depressing world. With no intention of stopping, Chiara concludes “I would love to keep doing what we love: collaborate with art galleries, brands and institutions.” We hope so too!
GalleryIllustrazioni Seriali's Spazi residency. Photos by Aurora Ricciolini, artwork courtesy of the artist and Fallani Venezia
© Ana Popescu for Illustrazioni Seriali's Spazi residency. Photo by Aurora Ricciolini, artwork courtesy of the artist and Fallani Venezia
About the Author
After graduating from Winchester School of Art, studying graphic arts, Harry worked as a graphic designer before joining It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in March 2020. He nows works as a freelance writer and designer, and is one half of Studio Ground Floor.