Premio Contemporary Rome Art Expo 2019.
« Premio Contemporary is an exhibition project », says the Curator, Ilaria Giacobbi, « born out of asking the question what is art? What does it mean to be an artist today?
The role of art is that of being a reflection and or manifestation of contemporaneity. Artists are entrusted with the task of observing, filtering with the “eyes of their own sensibility” and then recounting, through the non-verbal language of art, their own era, leaving a trace of it forever through their own works. Premio Contemporary encourages artists to exhibit during the year and in October 19 again for Rome Art Week. Many participated from all over the world to participate in this project and support contemporary art today. »
In total there were 23 exhibitors at the Palazzo Exhibition Space and It was incredible to share the exhibiting of artworks along with three other ex Falmouth students, Josie Purcell, Mandisa Baptiste and Dayana Marconi.
An invitation and Selection: I was invited to enter an exhibition in Rome by a peer who has more recently finished the MA course and lives in Rome. I decided to enter three images from the series Mapping 1: Interoception, since I felt these images would fit well other artists with the other art, mixed media sculpture and film exhibits. I entered the three images at the end of May and in early June was emailed to say they had been accepted as part of the exhibition. I was particularly excited since I wanted an opportunity to exhibit both to a scientific audience and to a more public one, as well as to other artists. I am aware of how photography is not always accepted into pure art exhibitions and was delighted that I was delighted that the work of a photographer was accepted here. As well as the encouragement of female photographers around Europe.
Administration. The first challenge was completing all the necessary paperwork, which included an artist bio and description of the work, with pdfs of the images and text for press releases and for the event. I printed up my own description in English to be left alongside the images and used the business cards I had created for IIMEC14 in London. Clear instructions, were to be sent, on size of images to be exhibited (of which we were allowed up to three), hanging instructions and and a plan of how we would like these curated. This took me a couple of days to sort and ensure that all was properly covered. The final artworks were 3 x 36”x36” square including the frames, were of epsom semi-gloss giclée paper with anti-reflective glass. I asked for them to be hung horizontally side by side with no idea of space to hang the images in, other than confirmation that the size was not too big and there were in fact larger artworks. .
Printing, Packaging and Distribution. I had them printed up quite quickly by Print Space in London, but two were damaged and had to be returned. The stress came with the packaging. I ordered boxes that were made to size fro transportation and they just never arrived. After many telephone calls, it became clear that they had not even started to make the boxes, although I had been given a delivery time of 5 days from order. In the end I bought double thick boxes all the packaging corners, protective bubble wrap and foam boards to protect the glass and wrapped them myself. The curator had offered their distributor but it was hugely expensive and since I have my own international couriers through my clinical business I decided to use these for a quarter of the cost, for an overnight delivery. They arrived safely and it was a huge relief. They were stored for several days before the curator, Ilaria Giacobbi positioned them beautifully within a fantastic gallery in the Palazzo Velli, and Trastevere region of Rome. .
I travelled to Rome on Friday 19th July 2019, for the main event on the Saturday evening and was able to get a glimpse of the images on the Friday evening. After a drinks reception around 7pm, there was a film crew interviewing some of the artists and recording the events for local TV and for further press releases. Later in the evening was a series of prizes and I was presented with a participation certificate and a catalogue of all the artworks displayed. Other prizes included the following:-
Premio Artista Emergente:Marica Romano
Premio Arte Figurativa:Mahmoud Elkouriny
Premio Action Painting:Cristina Smeraldi
Premio Arte per il Sociale:Dayana Sharon Marconi
Premio Miglio Scultura:Battista Doneddu
Premio Andy Wharol (miglior opera POP):Ennio Zangheri
Premio Miglio Fotografia:Kevin Pierrat
Premio Miglio Opera di Ingegno:Simona Correnti
Feedback. I was keen to get feedback, although this was a little difficult as I have very little Italian language. I found though for those that were interested in the images they struggled with their English in order to ask questions about the photographs. With more time and forethought I should have translated my artist bio and description into Italian.
The feedback was enormously helpful in my attempt to clarify difference between the responses from a targeted audience knowing a little about the science to those who know a lot less or nothing at all about the condition Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. There was one particular photographer, VC, who attended the event that was particularly interested in my work since hers was also starting to develop along the same lines and she said it was difficult to find comparisons for medically related images. Her mother had suffered an aneurysm and she had started recording the MRI of her brain scans. We had a long conversation about the place of science in art for the future and utilising the abstraction as a way of a platform for further discussion and opening it up to a wider audience than just those that may know a little about certain conditions. Overall it seems many of the same questions and statements arrive from both audiences;
- the abstraction used as a platform for discussion,
- for not defining the individual by their condition,
- the requirement of easier communication and
- just pure curiosity for a different type of image.
The abstraction of Interoception. The 8th Sense, fit in well with many of the abstract artists and many seemed to be drawn to this image. Interoception, Tiled created interest too and raised questions about how and where they photographs had come from and what was the condition. Those may have been because the image is more tangible in a way and the MRI Scanner familiar to most people.
Professor Andrea Felice. Professor of Film Productions with animation and SFX at the Degree Course in Science and Technology for Media, at the University “Tor Vergata” in Rome and in Cinematographic Scenography at the Master of Science and Architecture degree course - Interior and Preparation, “La Sapienza” University of Rome, congratulated me on my work. Overall an amazing experience, that has given me a great insight into exhibiting abroad, some of the potential pitfalls but also a whole new audience and way to celebrate your work.