Cristina Gardumi is a visual artist, actress and performer, graduated in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts G. B. Cignaroli in Verona and in Acting at the National Academy of Dramatic Arts Silvio D'Amico in Rome. In her work she's trying to put different disciplines together, finding new ways to tell timeless stories to the contemporary audience by traditional and new technologies. She collaborates on several artistic projects mixing theater, illustration and visual arts at Centro per la Sperimentazione e la Ricerca Teatrale Jerzy Grotowsky, Pontedera (Pisa): "Alla luce" and "La prossima stagione", "Il Nullafacente", "Leonardo Da Vinci, l'opera nascosta" by italian famous playwriter Michele Santeramo. She took part to several solo and group exhibition in Italy and Europe. Cristina won Premio Celeste Pittura 2011, Premio Arte Laguna Pittura 2012 and the Celeste Prize visitors' choice 2013. Upcoming exhibitions: Burning Giraffe Contemporary Art ( Turin, March 2018), Teatro India ( Rome, April 2018)
For me, drawing is a kind of anthropological investigation – it helps me to better understand the reality surrounding me, who lives there, and myself as part of this bigger picture. I keenly feel the lack of that stability, that common foundation on which – according to social conventions – we build lives: a tribe, or religion, where we can recognise ourselves. We all share the day-to-day. Human beings in ancient times had myths and legends to reassure them and align their feelings with. Today we are absent-minded, with short attention spans – we grasp the here and now, with all its potential instability and sudden transformations. What I draw gives me a way of navigating this complexity.
“It is a kind of search, through the humdrum minutiae of everyday life, places beyond those pertaining to the official concept of 'sacred' (religion, nations, moral conventions), to reveal my sacred with a few small actions, setting the boundary from where I no longer operate on the basis of the ordinary but I am penetrated by a radically different world, different to the ordinary world like fire is to water. These actions are like tears in a veil, a breach where a world of revelations can pass through.”
M.LEIRIS "Il sacro nella vita quotidiana"
[The sacred of everyday life]
The constant encounter with the 'real' makes people more closed to the poetry of detail and to little revelations. I use drawing to highlight these activities and situations, which at first appear to be banal and inconsequential.
I see my works as short stories, but also as thinking exercises. The series of drawings I called Books I see as little manuals providing points for reflection on various fundamental themes. I use pages from old school notebooks - this simple “workaday” paper is the most apt to convey the sense of my work. I treat them with coffee to purge them of their previous roles. The lines blur slightly, the spaces where they remain intact offering little foothold spaces for my “actors”.
The characters move on the paper like actors in a scene, playing more or less defined roles. They are humans and animals together because I see this zoomorphism as the essential image of the creature, a type of being with the unique characteristic of feeling guilt, and the beast, in its diverse forms and species, always (inevitably) innocent.
Our conscience invariably traces this character back to the childlike world of the fairy tale (also in the most classic sense of the word – think of Aesop's fables or Jean de La Fontaine), and adults tend to classify this type of work as children's illustration. This becomes a useful tool when one wants to introduce a subtle disturbance, a doubt, a shadow, during the otherwise innocuous creation of a picture.