The Claire’s Workshop
Hand painted lamps by Chiara
It was a warm end of summer afternoon, Fabio and I decided to visit Chiara laboratory, curious of discovering more about such a peculiar kind of art. Chiara is a tiny woman, gracefully sharp: she manoeuvres with an incredible agility through the thousands of instruments that are laying everywhere in her laboratory. The most evident thing there, are her lamps, dozens of lamps and lampshades of every kind and shape, piled up on every corner, sometimes decorated with an electric cable.
Chiara guides us until the very heart of her laboratory, her working desk. We interrupted her while she was painting a fabric for one of her lamps, she explains. Fabio is already taking photos, I am wandering around, curious of what I could find. You can breathe creativity in here and I want to fill my lungs as much as possible. Chiara seizes the moment to keep working on the fabric because it needs to get dry before she can apply it, she says.
I wish I could start interviewing her already but her immersed expression stops me; I decide not to interrupt and I keep observing.
Later, when she finishes the fabric, I reach out to her and our conversation begins. I ask her to tell me a bit about her and from her reaction I understand that she is not used to describe herself “I am a person like everybody else, with a family and a house”, she states.
The art world has attracted her like a magnet since the beginning, in fact when she was fourteen years old she enrolled in an art school. Chiara describes herself at that age as an insecure girl but really focused and determined when it came to art. “I anticipated trends. The photography magazines that I read’ (here Fabio looks away from his camera for the first time, paying close attention to what she says) “were publishing very similar photos to the ones I was taking. I was concentrated on the undetermined and undefined theme. My artworks reflected my own lack of definition, typical of adolescence”
She loved to surround herself with people that could understand her and share the same passion; everything was going toward that direction.
However sometimes, life comes in the way and pushes you wherever it wants. Chiara became a wife and mother and things changed. Even her vision of art changed and she started bringing it to her daily life and making it more down to earth, reachable, without losing her constant search for infinite, invisible, continuity, of what can be seen in the transparencies. And from here she started working on lamps, that she describes as “the right compromise between art and familiarity, light and warmth”. “The painted lamps were born from a tension between rationality and irrationality, from practicality and sensitivity, from the concrete world and what is subtly detectable. Lines are synthesis and artistic representation of a fascinating but hard – if not impossible – concept: infinite. Every single line becomes infinite itself, without a beginning or an end, and between every line remains something not visible, but essential”.
She is a woman who managed to keep art alive inside of herself, even when it seemed it didn’t belong to her life anymore, even when her duties as wife and mother kept her from her real habitat, the laboratory. She still managed to find a way to connect with her inner self through art and I can see this temporary escape in her eyes while she works.
At the beginning she was shy in front of the camera, but suddenly she mastered and felt confident in front of the lens. She manages the instruments with determination; she is not a mum anymore, not a wife, a friend or a colleague, … she is just herself, Chiara, with her creativity. And she nails it!
Now that she has her own business we can’t do anything but wish for the success she deserves. Her artwork is unbelievable, each one of them is unique and shows a clear trace of Chiara. They warm up and make cosy every environment.
Fabio has his own way to tell this story, and you can see here his personal point of view on this experience. Enjoy!
Artist: Claire, Chiara Gasparini
Text Editor: Linda Soffiato
Photographer: Fabio Marciano