Light on a Woman Artist
Marie Bagi presents to you,
Alessia Camoirano Bruges
A Writing Interview of Alessia Camoirano Bruges
By Marie Bagi, Contemporary Art History and Philosophy, Ph.D.
Tell me a bit about you and your life…
I was born in Genoa, a town by the sea in northwest Italy. My mother is from Barranquilla, Colombia and I consider myself half Italian and half Colombian. I grew up in different countries and cities such as Denmark, Tunisia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Ecuador and a little bit everywhere in Italy. I am currently living in London where I graduated from the University of the Arts London. Being able to live so many cultures definitely inspired my art and really opened up my mind. At home it wasn’t always easy, that is why I donate 10% of my sales to a charity which helps women victim of domestic violence.
When it comes to my practice I see my work as emotional responses which always starts from an analysis of my inner self and my surroundings in order to start a conversation around identity and human experiences in particular trauma, healing, belonging and love. To tune further with my emotions I always listen to music and research the topic thoroughly. Each painting has a storyline and lyrics or prose that I write in order to give further context to the painting. For me each work is a cathartic experience, something that starts from a need, therapeutic. To me the role of the artist is also to serve and show other ways to cope with life and existence.
How did you get involved with art?
My mother is an artist and textile engineer, since I can remember she taught me about art, artists and we would always go to museums and galleries. When we were at home, she would sit down with me and teach me how to draw, paint and express myself. Growing up, art became both a need and something that I really wanted to do. As a teenager I started suffering from mental health problems and found my safe space while creating; each time I created I felt I was healing parts of me. Art has always been there.
Have you always created?
I have always created and experimented in many ways. Writing, painting, video, photography; I’ve always found ways to express myself and let go of anything that no longer serves me.
Why did you choose abstraction as technic for your painting?
I chose abstraction because I’ve always been fascinated with abstraction. How movements, colours, textures, shapes are able to convey strong emotions without the aid of realistic images, there is so much freedom of interpretation. Personally, I feel that abstract art starts a conversation within your inner self; you look at a painting and you can’t quite understand yet why it made you feel in a certain way, so you start asking questions, your mind wonder and eventually you might look into the artist, why they did what they did and there is a proper research, the spectator becomes actively involved in the process and it starts a connection and self reflection. The concept of abstract art and fluidity really resonates with me because I hardly feel I fit in anywhere, I feel I belong nowhere and everywhere, my sexuality is fluid, I am from a mixture of different cultures, I want to explore so many different aspects of life. I am constantly changing and evolving and abstract art is the best concept to portray all of this. Equally important is the fact that for each painting I write prose and or poetry. My paintings would not exist if I did not write.
The color seems really important to you, why? While watching your paintings, we can catch the mouvement of the colors. They seem alive. How could it be explain?
I feel emotions very intensely, they come and go like waves and more often than not, these emotions present themselves with colour, my mind associates certain emotions with certain movements and colours. When I was a child I had a diary where I would write what each color meant and I would just use colours and not words. Growing up, I started portraying these waves on canvas in order to understand them better, let them go and start a meaningful conversation with the audience. Instead of letting these emotions consume me (positive and negative ones) I decided to befriend them and I started painting them. If they seem alive is because they lived inside of me and I found a new place for them to live. Color is so important because it influences our mood, emotions, feelings, it’s a whole language. With color you can create an emotional narrative. From a technical point of view I’ve studied thoroughly color theory, color psychology and I have always been fascinated in how color affects and impacts our emotions and feelings.
You are also using the video’s technic. What do you want to express through it?
I’ve always loved documentaries and I studied Film and TV at the University of the Arts London. I’ve been working on my own but also in broadcast tv. I am interested in humans, their lives, culture, art but also current affairs. It’s a very separate world from my art practice. However, I will be starting a series of art videos which will be about emotions and colours.
How intimacy shows up into your art?
I hope that intimacy shows in everything that I do. Each piece is an emotional response, a self analysis and an analysis of my surroundings where intimate memories play a huge part, therefore each piece is very vulnerable and intimate. With each piece I want to start a conversation and connect with others. Create a space where we can discuss our vulnerabilities, what makes us human, how we can connect with openness without prejudices.
Can you talk about an art piece and how it’s important to you?
“I belong deeply to myself” is a very important piece for me. I even have the sentence tattooed on my right arm. As I mentioned before, growing up I moved to different places and the concept of home has been quite complicated to pin down. My sense of belonging often felt confused. But not only; because I struggled with my mental health and my body, I did not look after myself in the way I should have and I have loved others way more than I loved myself. Looking for a place and person to love and feel a sense of belonging lead me to a rough path. I then understood that no matter where I go I take myself with me, no matter the circumstances I always have myself and that this is the only body I have, I have to look after myself and nurture myself. I am my own home, I am my own lover. I wanted this message to reach people who might feel or felt like me that they belong deeply to themselves. This painting is about finding, loving and belonging to oneself. I wrote also some lyrics with it.
I belong to infinite trajectories
I leave traces of my essence
wherever I walk
cultivating my identity
I belong deeply to myself
when I look at my fragile self
I let go of all semblances
and your arms are my home
my mother's smile
a hug from my sister
and I never stop evolving
I'm not afraid of being part of
the immensity of human relationships
or more simply
I let myself go
and it's spring inside me
When did you first expose your work?
In terms of video and writing I believe it was around 2014, in terms of painting I started in 2018.
Are you starting to have a certain recognition in London?
Truth to be told, I have not concentrated my efforts in London. I have exhibited in London, yes, but I have not concentrated myself into gaining recognition in London. Because I am always moving or find it difficult to point out which place is my home, I am putting all my attention into the online world.
Is there a place where we can see your work constantly?
Of course, you can visit my website www.alessiacamoirano.com or my instagram page @intenseartalessia.
Are you making activities with your work? If yes, what will you propose for Espace Artistes Femmes?
I would love to start a new activity around art and healing, that is definitely something that would be amazing to bring in Espace Artistes Femmes.
Published on December 7th 2020