Artist residency
Villa Lena, Tuscany

In September 2020 I was invited to be an artist in residence at Villa Lena in Tuscany.

For the residency I was excited to continue my research around travel, memory and architecture.

I decided to focus my visual research on the Archetype.

Studying those archetypes as they appear around Villa Lena and the surrounding region, deconstructing and reconstructing them based on my own experience and rhythm of using the space, and observations of other people’s interactions.

TUSCAN FANTASY — Diary of an artist residency is a chronicle of the dream-like period spent during the residency, ruminating on an inwards journey among olive groves, vineyards and ghosts.

Featuring excerpts from my journal during the residency, alongside the musical explorations of James Connor Vincent (who composes and performs under the alias Orange Peel) the film is a portrayal of the fragmented nature of the creative process and of the tranquil time spent in this ad hoc paradise.

ARCHETYPE — Installation views.


pure form

the concept of a thing

patterns of behaviour

recurring symbol

Above — trigon archetype pieces:
Trigon i (oil pastels – 65x50cm)
Trigon ii (acrylics — 100x70cm)
Trigon iii (oil pastels — 65x50cm)

The villa was built in the 19th century, inspired by Palladio and turn–of–the–century Italian neoclassical architecture, using grandeur of scale, columns, simplicity of geometric forms and Greek or Roman details.

Above — the 19th century villa (and me on the balcony!)

As a trained architect, I was repeatedly inspired by the spatial, architectural and decorative details of the villa itself and the buildings of the surrounding areas — Palaia, Pisa, Siena and Florence.

Fig. 1 — Archetypal shapes found in Tuscan neoclassical architecture.

Top left — TUSCAN FANTASY final ceramic pieces (terracotta).

Above: ceramics and paper cutout studies.

Because of my spatial training, I am often interested in taking a piece beyond a bidimensional drawing, experimenting with shape and contour but also volume and shadow.

In the residency I developed prototypes for a wall installation in relief paper cutouts and native terracotta, handbuilding a final collection of ceramic pieces soon to be installed at Villa Lena (see “Tuscan Fantasy”, above).

Working with geometry and precise shapes for much of my trajectory, during the residency it was also a great pleasure to discover the freedom of creating geometric forms with a freer, looser hand.

Above FORMA installation.

I also worked on FORMA, a temporary installation of found wood, metal and other materials, futher experimenting with the archetypal shapes and their relationship to each other in the physical space.

Fig. 2 — personal documentation of the architectural shapes and archetypes in the surrounding areas.

Villa Lena Foundation

August 31—October 2, 2020

Toiano, Pisa

Marina Esmeraldo is a Brazilian illustrator, artist and educator, based between Barcelona and London. She speaks five and a half languages, loves travelling and the sea, and is currently obsessed with outdoor sketching, film photography and subconscious reprogramming.

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