Tell us a bit about your work and what inspires your artwork
My work is primarily realised in gouache and coloured pencil on paper. The female figure is my main source of inspiration, which I usually analyse in the form of portrait. The women I paint are an autobiographical representation of the way the perception of myself evolves through time, as well as a projection of the women I meet in the street or have come across, and that I identify with or aspire to. I try and convey a sense of intimacy, but also a combination of strength and fragility, also referenced by the natural elements often associated with them. Fashion is also a recurring element in my paintings, as well as nature in the form of decorative botanical elements, and interiors. My exploration of women in a space identifiable as a home/indoor space, is also a visual representation of how women affected by mental health problems shape the space around them and interact with it from an autobiographical perspective, but aimed to tap into other women's experience and background.
Tell us about Kira and how she came into your life.
I grew up with English Setters thanks to my grandfather, so when the time felt right I started looking for a Setter to rescue, as especially in Italy they get lost or abandoned often, being one of the main breeds used for bird hunting. Kira ended up coming from one of my family’s acquaintances in the south of Italy, whom was looking to rehome her, and she adjusted to the city life immediately.
How does having dogs fit into your general working day?
Every morning me and Kira walk through the park to my studio in Hackney Wick. She is very relaxed indoor, and she ends up spending most of the day sleeping while I paint. Her presence around the studio is quite calming and comforting – I would find it very odd to work without her on my side. She also inspires my work in some way (or appears in it) – I have been told often that my paintings’ palette fits her colours and vice versa.
When you’re not working where do you like to head out to with the dog?
I take Kira with me to gallery exhibitions, for coffee with friends…pretty much everywhere. Hackney Marshes is one of our favourite place to go when I have a day off – it’s great for her to have a really good run, and to get inspired by natural elements and come back to my work with a fresh perspective.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?
For everyday walks just biodegradable poop bags and treats. For longer trips to the forest or on public transports, also a collapsible bowl, a blanket, and depending on the weather her waterproof coat and towel. I put everything in my bum bag or a bigger tote.
What adventures do you have planned with Kira for later this year?
For now a few days in a cottage in the Norfolk countryside and some weekend trips to the beach. I would also love to explore the wilder bits of Scotland, and Kira quite enjoys getting on a train.