New Delhi: Italian artist Simona Bocchi found her inspiration in India when she first travelled here in 2006.
"Delhi was my first stop. My visit was short but the impressions it made on me were immediate and profound," the artist said at the opening of her exhibition, "The Process of Unknowing" of 100 original paintings and sculptures at the Instituto Italiano di Cultura in the capital.
She returned five months later and moved to Udaipur to sculpt. The artist said India brought intense changes in her.
The exhibition, curated by Delhi-based art critic and writer Ina Puri, represented a synthesis of cultures and natural materials. A documentary on Simona Bocchi, ‘Portrait of an Artist’, by filmmaker Gaia Ceriana Franchetti was screened at the inauguration.
Simona`s muse is Rajasthan, which has given her an array of natural material to work with.
She has collaborated with local craftspeople and used traditional techniques to create her monumental sculptures and paintings.
"Unlike the state of not knowing, `unknowing` is my intuitive and ever-changing creative state of wonder and discovery. While in my unknowing state, the finished work of art takes shape through the interactions of materials and space. The final form emerges from what in the beginning appears like an absence of form," Bocchi said.
The works on display were created by the artist in the last six years, representing a fusion of contemporary Italian and the traditional Indian art.
One of her works, ‘Personage’ made of jute in 2002 is a series of sculpted folds on the surface of the coarse fibre that the artists uses to etch a profile of an aging face in a sharp play of shadows and light.
"In 2002, when I began my research on how to work with jute, I was attracted to the look and style of the Indian nomadic people. Jute when sculpted and molded began to reveal the faces of the rural people in India. Now I see those people every day in my daily life," Bocchi said.