“Biophilia April 2017”
Exhibition in Museo della Specola – Firenze
Gerald Bland is pleased to present the work of Arianna Fioratti Loreto. The artist uses an ancient technique of ink on paper with the cross-hatching of 18th century prints to create modern works celebrating the natural world.
My love of nature was first ignited as a young child by Jacques Cousteau’s films. I was obsessed with the sea, and first scuba dived at age eight. Later on at Harvard I was lucky enough to study with E.O. Wilson who enthusiastically taught about the connections between humans the natural world. We were dissecting whale brains to better understand our own. He inspired us to look at nature as a whole, fascinating organism.
While I was studying Romanesque sculpture for a Phd at Princeton, I found that I was most interested in the patterns and the decorative motifs found in the works of art. After my masters degree I started taking classes in textile design and ultimately started working in the field (both in the fashion and home furnishing). Thinking about patterns and the method of printmaking led me to try my hand at making my own “engravings” but in pen and ink. I found that animals had the most interesting patterns in nature. An owl’s feathers, a boar’s fur or an insect’s wing are all fascinating examples of patterns.
Many of my drawings are large profile drawings of animal heads. I think of them as humane trophies, in stark and deliberate contrast to Teddy Roosevelt’s trophies that decorated the walls of Harvard’s dining halls while I was there. A vivid memory of my college days is of a moose ear falling off a wall mounted trophy and landing in my neighbor’s soup. I’m trying to evoke the grandeur and presence of the “Big Game” without cruelty or blood lust.
From big game and flying crows I became fascinated with the world of the microscopic. Radiolarian, zooplankton and viruses have a grace, a symmetry and an abstract beauty that brings one back to the beginning of time.