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MDX graduate set to unveil contemporary feminine art exhibition in Italy

Elisabetta del Ponte will celebrate the bond between Italian and English female artists with an exhibition in June at an iconic castle

A Middlesex University graduate is staging an exhibition featuring performances and multi-media installations from 14 female artists at the iconic Lerici Castle in Italy.

Elisabetta del Ponte will stage the event - 'Donne d'arte, non da parte' - Women in Art, not apart - at the famous 12th century castle to celebrate the historical connection between English and Italian artists in Lerici, while offering a contemporary feminine vision.

Creator and curator Elisabetta, who graduated from MDX last year with a first class degree in Fine Art, has selected independent women artists who are interested in opening up discussions with the public which reflect both the social-cultural context of today and the need of exploring opportunities for our future.

"It is a celebration of artistic independence and the social vocation of women artists as agents of transformation and change." Elisabetta del Ponte, MDX Fine Art graduate

Elisabetta said: “In the 1800s English poets Percy Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin lived in the Gulf resort and, along with other Romantic poets such as Byron and Keats, developed new ideas challenging the status quo.

“Today, this project relaunches the historic twinning existing in the locality of the Gulf of Poets, between English and Italian artists, in this contemporary version.

“By showing together in a public space they are, alongside the Council of Lerici, creating new narratives and opportunities.”

The 14 exhibition artists are: Cristina Balsotti (IT), Tessa Brown (UK), Dodie di Prima (IT), Neda Changizi (UK), Claudia Guastini (IT), Lucy Childs (UK), Anama Kotlarevsky (IT), MoBbit_fOS (UK), Olivia Lotti (IT), Pollita Mijao (UK), Jessica Gatti (IT), Jane Scobie (UK) Federica Stricker (IT) and Sheila Stocking (UK).

Jane, Tessa, Pollita and Neda are MDX alumnae.

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Jane is showcasing two projects - a study of community gardens on inner city London and EDGELANDS and a landscape installation exploring re-wilding and regenerative farming in West Norfolk.

She said: “The installations are human scale sculpture works which relate to the characteristics of place and consider both fragility and resilience.”

Pollita’s work is entitled ‘Seditious Fictions from the Z4TA Universe’ and consists of fables from the future presented in animation, video, sculpture, projections, etchings, prints and painting.

Neda looks at the world through a macro lens while Tessa uses mixed media and sculpture.

Ratti, contemporary art expert, said: “The complex and longstanding cultural heritage of the Golfo dei Poeti becomes, with this project, a feminine collection with an International angle that is not limited to a range of artistic expressions.

“It wants to bring a powerful contemporary agency that affirms the value of artistic independence and that of overcoming the limits the are imposed by the prevalent logic of commerciality.”

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Dr. Lorraine Leeson, a Doctor in Social Practice, and author of the book ‘Art: Process: Change – inside a socially situated practice’, said: “Elisabetta’s approach not only embraces the growing field of social practice, feminism and the post-Brexit situation of British artists seeking to retain a voice Europe, but is also an important historical artistic link with Italy, which welcomed dissident British artists Shelley and Byron as far back as the 1800s.”

Sponsors of the show, which runs from 10-24 June, are Reclame and Middlesex University and artist Marco Nereo Rotelli has donated a stamp in support of the project.

Elisabetta, who will begin her PhD at MDX this year having been granted the ACI Den Award, says she would love to make the exhibition an annual event.

“When I presented this to the Mayor of Lerici I said I would love for this year to just be the start,” she said.

“This is all so exciting.”

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