For the 2018 – 2019 season, Nero Gallery opens with ‘Camping Panorama’. The solo exhibition presents recent and old unpublished drawings by the Italian illustrator Virginia Mori, in Rome until the 10th of November.
Camping Panorama is a campsite on the Adriatic coast near Pesaro, where the Italian artist Virginia Mori used to spend her time as a child. One of the most popular destinations for summer holidays, camping is like a bubble where families create memories and stories protagonist of the future Christmas dinner.
Dream of every child, the camping is also that weird place where during the night animals feel enormous and the darkness makes mysterious noises. For the opening of Nero Gallery’s season, the Italian illustrator brings up her childish memories to transport the viewer back in time. Mainly working with pencil, ink and ballpoint pen on paper, Virginia explores the other side of this childish dream with her typical black humour.
Combining recent and old unpublished works, Camping Panorama looks at the duality of this surrealistic world where memories and illusion meet, while innocent games mix with the fascination of the darkness and the familiar intimacy transforms into an attraction for the unknown. Playing with the duality of familiar and uncanny, the artist stimulates a mixture of emotions inviting the viewer to discover the details of this surreal panorama.
Here is an interview with the artist to find out about her solo exhibition and her artistic journey between illustration and animation.
- You mainly work with ink, ballpoint pen and pencil on paper. How did you develop this style through your artistic research?
It has been a very natural choice, I use to draw with ballpen and pencils since I was at school. Slowly, slowly I realise how much how much hints are possible with such essential tools, and I kept using them. Actually, afterwards, my research moved the focus on the ideas rather than technique.
- Alongside illustration, you also work with short film animation and videos. How these different ways of drawing are inspiring each other?
They are two similar worlds related to drawing on the appearance, however, based on a completely opposite mental attitude. In the illustration, you are working on one immobile image in which you have to include everything, mainly thinking about the space; while in the animation, you are working on the movement and rhythm, so thinking more about the timing. To me, they are very different mental approaches even if based on the same thing: drawing.
- In your practice, you are often reversing the familiar in uncanniness with your typical black humour. What would you like to communicate to the visitor by playing with the horrific elements of our reality?
I do not have any expectation on the spectator. I don’t really wish to stimulate anything in the specific; actually, I like that everyone can give an interpretation based on the personal story – some people have completely opposite reaction looking at the same draw.
- How do you relate to this duality between familiar and uncanny in your every-day life?
Well, it is not that easy…
- Camping Panorama collects a series of drawings inspired by your older works and childhood. How was to illustrate your memories as an adult and as an artist?
It is part of a journey started years ago. A lot of my pieces are ‘childhood relicts’ (cit. Svankmajer) – mostly of my obsession are coming from there. Sooner or later they will come to an end and I will probably start to draw something else.
- There is any particular memory that inspired the works behind this exhibition?
When I was camping, I was always too small to climb on the threes, while all the other kids could make it.
- To enter in the metaphoric and oneiric world of Camping Panorama, which tips would you suggest to the visitors?
I recommend to not only go in and look at the drawings on the wall, but also to browse in the books with old drawings that they will find in the gallery. Because, somehow, all together are creating a unique discourse.