Accustomed to large-format creations, especially frescoes and stained-glass windows, artist Ara Starck interprets one of her dreamy works for the first time on a silk scarf and Twilly.
How was this new project born?
“It all started before the pandemic. La Réserve Eden au Lac Zurich wanted to share the work I had done on the hotel’s stained-glass windows in a different way with its clients, by using my original paintings on silk scarf and Twilly creations as a way of extending the encounter. The idea quickly became obvious and Les Voûtes was chosen for the first series, which should be followed by the other four works.
Tell us about this work, Les Voûtes?
Originally, the five stained-glass windows were designed to accompany the visitor on his walk up the stairs to the top of the dome. Through this technique, I wanted to invent phantasmagorical landscapes constantly transformed by light, which changes day by day and even moment by moment, so as to better capture the imagination. Each visit enables a new reading, new emotions. Les Voûtes reinforces this idea of a moving landscape, with the symbolism of water, thanks to the flowing streams. In the same way, the light pierces the stained-glass windows, serving as interface between inside and outside. For the past ten years, I have learned to think differently about my paintings for this medium, because when you work with stained glass, you have to anticipate it in your painting. It is a different vocabulary in which the material – glass – plays an essential role, with changeable transparency effects. I took great pleasure in carefully choosing the glass with the master glassmakers, so that the colors would faithfully reflect the poetic choreography I had in mind.
Does moving stained glass to silk call for an entirely different artistic approach?
I picked up the original paintings, which are safely filed and not supposed to come out of my archives! On this occasion, they deserve a second life. Silk also has a very interesting relationship with light. It is a shimmering material that can reflect to varying degrees and make colors shine in different ways, like stained glass. Finally, the scarf and the Twilly are worn around the neck, where the carotid artery passes, hence the connection with the heart… This idea of a lifegiving flow is transposed to the skin. Here again, we worked with talented artisans, as with the master glassmakers and there is a lot of mutual respect. Together we create a new expression in the same spirit of my original painting. It’s the meeting of two art crafts where the deft touches and the relationship with the material are unique and that is truly irreplaceable for me.
Alongside these exclusive creations, what are you currently working on?
We are preparing an exhibition in Naples organized in October by the Made in Cloister Foundation, within the magnificent setting of the Santa Caterina church in Formiello. It's a very ambitious project in a large space that is taking up a lot of my time at the moment. I am also working on my biggest project, size-wise, with a huge 30 x 30 m canvas, which will also be inaugurated in the autumn at the LA Organic Museum dedicated to olive oil in Ronda, southern Spain. Another great artistic and human adventure! I’m lucky enough to be systematically confronted with inspiring places exuding enormous charisma. You merely have to listen to them to create… ”
Interview by Anne Marie Clerc
Scarf 120 x 120 cm -Twilly 80 cm
100% silk – Limited edition, hand-crafted in Italy by The Bespoke Company