lunedì 11 aprile 2011

Lucia Canu: interview to a painter who presents brush-strokes of sea.


I go up a little street of the little town of Sant'Antonio di Gallura where one of the many festivals which gladden dwellers and lucky visitors' summer nights takes place in the wonderful Sardinia. There are little stands with honey, hand-made forniture, knives with horn grips and foulards to light up my suntan. But going up, I glimpse a stand with something hungwhich seems like what I have already see in the last days: the sea. I've never seen such a realistic representation of the sea, the transparency of Sardinia's sea water in that picture made by an experienced hand... I imagine he should be an old artist who sees and represents that enchanted places from years, so I get near the only person who could give me informations. I ask myself if she is the artist's daughter or niece and Lucia presents herself as the author of the pictures! I'm astonished and I convince myself to interview her to introduce her to you.

Lucia Canu

Lucia was born in Sassari in 1978. She lives and works in her painter's studio in Sant'Antonio di Gallura, a little centre in the heart of Gallura. In 2006 she conferred a degree on Art School in Sassari with a qualifying course on decoration. Since 2000, she started with her first exhibitions, introducing herself in the territory, above all with summer shows in the splendid  Costa Smeralda's setting. In 2007, she lived the experience of the social services on U.N.I.T.A.L.S.I., a voluntary association for disabled people where she assisted elderly people and realized a painting course for Down's syndrome kids in her town. in 2008 she organized a painting laboratory called "Giocare con l'arte" (Play with art) for primary school's children in the social centre of the town Arzachena (OT). On June 2009 she exposed her pictures on Spazio Terzo Mondo's bookshop in Seriate(BG). The title of the exhibition was "La danza dell'acqua" (The dance of the water) and on August she attended a painting course on the Summer Academy in Salzburg ( Austria) where there were important lessons from international great artists. on September she won the 2° prize to the painting competition of "Sennoriart" association in Sennori (SS). On 2010 she partecipated to painting and art-therapy lab named "Lavori d'arte in corso" (Art works in progress) for disabled young people of U.M.U.S. association in Arzachena.
In the same year, she finished 5 important paintings for the church of her town. They are works which represent Jesus and other Saints' life scenes. These paintings have concluded and defined the new look of the interior of the church, recently renovated. Lucia Canu is mainly a figurative artist and being a lover of the colours of her territory, she made them a constant element for the most parts of her works.
Her interpretation of the crystal-clear Costa Smeralda's sea water , with time, became her unmistakable trademark.
Her compositions deals with her land, its landscape, foreshortenings, characters and still life and they were represented in simple way but with a strong light to increase contrasts and show the subject with an explosion of colours.


Interview

What is for you painting?
I consider it a state of mind which goes beyond the simple representation. When I start a painting, I pull totally ahead from everything. I don't care about people judgements as regards technique or verisimilitude, my mission is the ability to transmit an emotion. The sense of wellbeing derived from being able to transmit a little emotion to others, it's priceless.


Are you inspired from an artistic movement or an artist in particular?
One of the first artists I've copied was Vincent Van Gogh. What attracted my attention were chromatic impact, vehemence on the use of colours in the cloth and anxiety. Untill now ,I had any occasion to see one of his pictures closely but I'm sure that I'd suffer from Stendhal's syndrome!
Other key character was Monet and his serial pictures of ponds with water lilies. I love everything which reflected in the water and my thesis was all marked on this important element.


Have you, like Van Gogh, a little bit of insanity?
No, I haven't. I'm a very calm person and also during my work I must have my mind free from thoughts.

So, do you need to isolate youself from the world when you hold the paintbrush in your hand? No viewers?
In my studio, I'm always alone because, if I speak with someone, I lose my concentration or mood. On the contrary, on occasions like exhibitions, I like to listen to remarks and comments and talk.



From your pictures, I deduce your love for your land. Do you paint landscapes remembering or observing them?
The most part of times, it's photographic memory, even though I always bring with me my camera but I never painted a landscape identical to the photo.


What was your first picture and what feeling do you remember?
(She thinks a little bit...) Maybe a sunset, a dark sunset together with a view of the country... and maybe it was that occasion to bring me to the uninterrupted search of light! (She laugh) It could be the reason why I have this name! It's difficult to explain but it's impossible I could represent some landscape with a leaden sky or a stormy sea. I hope it will be of good omen for my state of mind!


Have you a favourite work in your collection?
I am proud of my simple composition named "Plangton" made in the Art School. It is my starting point and my pride. My satisfaction derives also from the fact that I built the cloth by myself (150 X 150 cm), setting up this dance of micro-organisms.


How many time do you dedicate to your job?
About 4 hours in the morning and 4 hours in the evening...


Is your job of painter only a job or a passion?
Till today, I'm glad it's my main occupation. Fortunately ,I work for private sector and for those who appreciate my works. Up to last year, I made painting labs for disable young people, an experience which I would like to make again as soon as possible. But in my studio I have a lot of space to be able to organize some coloured and happy courses for children!


Are you a person who dedicate many time for social works? Where did this experience start from?
Many years ago, I had the chance to be involved in summer camps here, in Costa Smeralda, with the U.N.I.T.A.L.S.I. association which, every year, attends the sick on their journey to Lourdes. Thanks to this association, I made social services, so I exploited what I was able to do and my art working with kids suffering from Down's syndrome of my town.


What kind of techniques do you use?
I mainly use oil colours for classic works but also compositions of acrylic colours and other mixed techniques.

Who or what urged you to take up painting?
It's a family vice! My parents met eachother in art high school. They have always taught art and worked together with painting and ceramics. At the beginning , I thought to become a woman of letters but, in the end, my Dna won and, as soon as I got in Art School, I immediately felt at home!


What do you feel while you paint?
It's a peace and estrangement feeling but sometimes I feel a bit disappointed because the result is not that hoped. It's always a continuous challenge between the brush and me!


Why did you devote yourself to religious subjects?
It was a very important work commissioned by the church of my town that, after having restored the interior, thought to complete it with a pictorial representation of Jesus' life. I must study very much the compositions, paying attention to symbology, to render unique and original all the works.


They are very big pictures, what kind of problems did you face up to realize them?
Yes, they are cloths with nearly life-size images. Given that they should be positioned on the top of the church, I directed my attention on perspective and some particulars that , maybe from afar, would be lost. I spent almost a month to realize just one of them!


If you think of you within 10 years, what do you see?
I see myself always at work with a good circle in art market and the possibility that my name and my works shuold be appreciated even out of my land. I don't have great expectations to become too much famous, even though it should be not so bad to see one of my pictures in the "Biennale" in Venice.


What do you suggest to whom wants to take up your same carrier?
What I always say to the children that ask me the same question: it's a luck to be able to trasnform a big passion into job. It's priceless when you see that one of your pictures transmits emotions to others, and even if it is not a simple occupation which it often don't give so much certainties, if you make it with passion, you will able to overcome everything!




This cheerful interview made on-line with Lucia, makes me happy. We have so much fun and she answers to my shower of questions with peerless charm. It's a pleasure to know her both as artist and as person. Her love for painting and children overcomes me, thus, I decide to introduce to you also her "jointly deeds" on my future posts and, who knows? , maybe I could have , among new posts, some new acquaintances and a new section!
Meanwhile, there is nothing left to do but wish you good luck, Lucia!

Sonia.

Translation by Denise Cinquerrui.









 
Contact:

site: http://www.luciacanu.com/
facebook: Lucia Canu
mail: cilla.canu@tiscali.it
phone: +39 349 5364 743

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