Interview with Carla Mura

Artista di inWomen.Gallery

Carla Mura © Carla Mura

Francesca Della Ventura: Carla, tell us about yourself. Before working with textile painting, did you work with other artistic media? What led you to work with cotton thread and how was it for you to handle this new medium?

Carla Mura: Before I started using cotton thread for my paintings in 2004 I worked for years with very different materials, ranging from woods, sand, African spices, rubber, stones and other natural materials combined with acrylic mixes for abstract material or conceptual paintings. I did many exhibitions, especially in Sardinia at the time, then later in Rome once I moved there where I lived for 10 years. My time was not marked by precise times but I was constantly creating day and night, a total immersion. Later I started to combine the acrylic technique with the thread, the first paintings were all white ecru and black, almost as if I wanted to express the two opposites of life, so the good and the bad, the certain and the not certain, the certainties and the doubts, the opposites.
This concept is very important to me, and still has many nuances to deepen also in terms of life experiences. I loved the thread from the beginning, found in an antique market in Rome, I started to use it and to this day it has become my expressive medium that suits me perfectly, for its ductility and for its fragile and strong contrast.

FDV: Can you explain us the technical process of realization of your works? I am very curious about it…

CM: The process of realization is very and almost always instinctual. I start from the support that I prefer in that given moment, I choose the colour and along the way… I start working for hours, with numerous passages on canvas of fantasy architectures or well-defined memories of metropolitan details or symbols or visual icons. Then I look at and about the painting, I add and conclude. The average of a finished painting is one week.

Frida e Diego, cotton thread, photographic print on canvas,100 x 100cm,2014 © Carla Mura

FDV: What are the subjects, situations and events you are most inspired by?

CM: Some of my paintings are homages to great masters of the art world such as Van Gogh or Roy Lichtenstein or Frida Kahlo. Never forget who preceded us and who had an important artistic life. So for the painting dedicated to Van Gogh I have taken into consideration his recognisable colours from his famous fields and I have perfectly reproduced those colours with compatible thread shades in the chromatic definitions so as to look like a field full of Vangoghian colour shades. Frida Kalho has been a heroine of mine for years, both for her private life and for the works that fully reflect her being and her feeling, so as a woman I have paid her homage with two or three paintings, one for the much desired and never born child, the other for her passionate and fought story with the famous muralist Diego Rivera, the other for her painful physical story, from the tram accident to her painful busts carried a good part of her life. I have a project about her that I have never exhibited before but maybe sooner or later, when I find someone, some critic or some gallery that will appreciate it, I will present it to the public. Also because this artist needs something fresh in being represented for various reasons, one of which is that in her life she has lived very current stories still today and that could be a warning for future generations to understand ways and lifestyles.

FDV: In our gallery, there is one of your works with Frida Kahlo as a protagonist. Which are the artists you look at the most? Do you present them to us?

CM: Let’s say that I am not particularly inspired by any artist, I am me, and what I do is the result of my life, my experiences, my visions and my path both in life and work, always adding something new to what I do. Obviously, I am fascinated by many artists both in life and historical and important that I esteem both from a human and professional point of view. There are a lot of good ones: Kiki Smith, Sarah Morris, Louis Bourgeois, Vanessa Beecroft, Cecile Brown, all artists who are strongly connected to social problems, with a great emotional charge behind them.
As far as female Italian artists are concerned, sometimes we see something innovative, even if I always repeat that we don’t have the right value and the right space if not every now and then during Biennales but little involvement of curators who follow us as they should and help us to emerge as they should. One cannot always wait until we are no longer in this world to appreciate and make ourselves known. Many of us deserve more visibility. I always appeal to journalists and experts for this. At the moment there is Marinella Senatore who is doing a good job and she is good, I also like Paola Pivi very much, for the rest little consideration. In this moment of full world pandemic, we should take advantage of the time available to introduce Italian art and Italian artists to the general public. It would serve us first and foremost, Italy, the Italian economy, young Italians, Italian culture, etc. Sometimes I continue to see renowned and important galleries that continue to support only foreigners and I think it is not human at all. Hopefully, something will change, otherwise, it is useless to complain about the Italian trend and the young people who expatriate if we Italians are the first not to support ourselves.

A special thanks and greeting to those who follow me and appreciate me, proving it to me

Francesca Della Ventura
Francesca Della Ventura

Francesca Della Ventura is a journalist, curator and contemporary art critic, as well as founder and director of inWomen.Gallery.