Chiara Mancini is an Italian artist currently living and working in Glasgow.
Mancini’s practice can be read as a re-contextualization of pre-modern concepts of beauty, value, and work, and the exploration of their paths through contemporaneity.
Her work often develops in sculptural therms combining found shapes with modeled and imaginary ones.
Over the last year, the processes of Mancini’s work steadily shifted away from digital technology to embrace more traditionally physical techniques such as modeling, casting, ceramics, and woodworking. This transition is to be seen as a political statement, a shifting of priorities in favor of an alignment of body and mind with the physical space.
Concreterie (2022) is a collection of ceramic objects created by combining the found shapes of single-use plastic packaging with the textures of trees and fungi. Utilizing the medium ceramic (traditionally a precious and occasionally exotic commodity) to create arrangements of trash the artist intends to participate in the conversation about value, beauty, preciousness, and the role of manual work within art. The aesthetic elements that populate the objects have been carefully selected to reference characteristics of pre-modern decorative art, such as repetitive patterns and floral decorations. The work re-contextualizes such categories by utilizing ready-made, industrial patterns found at the bottom of plastic boxes and by featuring hyper-realistic natural elements such as tree bark, fungi, and lichens, that are traditionally ill-suited to embody a rational, symmetric, and humanistic understanding of nature. The sound piece in the installation is also obtained with conceptually similar processes: it features a series of recordings of working machinery coupled with the sound of the human voice and breath. Located on the supporting structure alongside the sculptures the speakers are meant to tie up sculptures and structure together, giving the impression of being part of one big pulsating creature.