Italian artist Samantha Passaniti's gentle, poetic compositions derive their substance from her physical surroundings. Using organic materials like plants and earth, she builds up delicate, sometimes sculptural pieces, incorporating elements like water, or minerals, to express her connection to the simplicity and beauty of nature, and of taking one's time to enjoy it.
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YS: I'm interested in the way your work comes from the desire to slow down and appreciate or understand your own emotions and place in a world or society that is always rushing and individualistic. What first interested you in this?
SP: Through artistic practice I approach my true essence, I left the external reality that is not mine because too cruel and focused on the money. Through my work I express outside my world made of simple, pure and sensitive values, the same values that the world we live in is less and less interested. I like to think that my art can be useful to bring people closer to themselves, to the emotions to the true values that make us human.
You are also inspired by poetry; how does this influence your work?
Many of my works are born as images after the poetry reading. Reading poems, I feel emotions and intuitions that I transform in images fixing them on the canvas.
Are you still living in Rome? What is it like working as an artist there?
I studied in Rome for five years. Now I live in a small village, Porto s. Stefano, by the sea, and an hour and a half from Rome. I often go to Rome, Florence, or Milan, to find cultural stimuli for the soul that I need to create. But then I like to work in the silence, in solitude surrounded by nature where I'm comfortable.
Can you tell me about what your studio is like?
My studio is not very big and it's close to my home. In the studio I like to be surrounded by books and pictures that inspire me, like photographs that I made for fix moments (sometimes I use them also into the work) or images of other artists to whom I feel spiritually close.
How do you get started on a new piece? What is your process like?
Usually I work in series or on more pieces together. I start from an emotion or a situation that I am living. I read books to understand, and to understand myself more, to meet me and to go deeper and deeper. When I am ready I start a dialogue with myself through art. I like to use and experiment materials of all kinds. I work free, listening only my soul. Then I observe and control, I decide what changes to make. I do layer upon layer, taking all the time I need to think.
What do you find to be the most rewarding part of being an artist?
Making art for me is how to meditate. Then came a time when I decide that the process is finished. I can say that everything comes very naturally and it's like a miracle for me that every time it still amazes me. This is surely the most rewarding part of being an artist.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect?
The most challenging part is surely to enter in the art market without belittling the work but trying to enhance it. The worlds is full of artists and full of situation that I don't like for my work. I hope to find the best way for my work.
Is there anything you wish you knew as a beginning art student that you have learned by now?
There isn't nothing I wish I knew as a beginning. I like to be surprised from my work every day and to know that will be always so; it gives me the desire to continue.
Do you have any exhibitions or projects coming up?
I hope to participate soon in a residence abroad, I need to do an international exchange because I feel the Italian art world is so close, and focused on the past and on the tradition.
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Find more images and information on the artist at samanthapassaniti.weebly.com.