Woman Crush Wednesday: Chiara Dondi
Interview by Anna Robertson
What is photography to you?
Photography is an enrichment process to me. It gives me the strength to explore myself and then to let the world know what I think and, above all, what I feel. Even if in my own symbolic way.
You were initially strictly a painter before you picked up photography. I’m happy to see that you have still retained your painterly aesthetic to your images. Do you paint directly on your negatives? Can you describe the process of painting over a black and white negative?
I've been a painter for more than half of my lifetime, photography is a relative new media for me (about 10 years). I have start painting as a very young girl, about 6/8 years old so when I discovered photography it was obvious to transfer all my pictorial knowledge.
Well, I don't paint directly on negatives, I paint on the printed photo (so I have a classical camera obscura process). I've chosen this because everytime I paint that photo it will be different from the previous. It happens to develop and print a photo and then after 2 or 3 years I develop and paint it again and it's always so different!
In your series, “Me Through the Storm,” you have created these provocative images of being strangled by vines. What is the symbolism behind the vines?
I have created these photos during my psychological path for anxiety and panic attacks. When I start taking photo I was thinking that vines where the sensations that my panic gives me: oppression, constraint and a big sense of no way out. But looking at them now that I'm feeling better I can tell you that the vines are my opposition to know the truth, from where my disease comes from.
You mentioned in your series “Anthropomorphe” that you have a great fear of insects. How did photographing insects help you overcome these fears?
I was reading a book to my son where was explained how every insect have a role in the nature and also in our lives. Like the ones I love. My son has permitted me to be less selfish and to love without limits, my friend Samantha is my consoler, my friend Stefania is the one that can make me laugh more than anyone else, etc.I just wanted to underline this similarity.
Describe your creative process in one word.
If you could teach a one-hour class on anything, what would it be?
I should be a good teacher of Art History because I have studied it from my young age but I think that I would be more interested in the reactions of the ones that listen to my teaching.
What was the last book you read or film you saw that inspired you?
The last book is Paradise lost by Milton, the last film that has inspired me is a short movie by Maya Deren called At land.
What is the most played song in your music library?
Everything by David Bowie I think. But if we start to talk about music we need a couple of extra Wednesday Interviews.
How do you take your coffee?
As an Italian I should say Espresso, but the truth is that I love a long Americano coffee with milk and sugar.
To see more of Chiara’s work, visit her website here