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Chiara Angela Vagnarelli

Interior space exhibition

Chiara's passion for art and in particular for clay started quite late in life, taking her quickly from a basic adult education course in Moss Side to a BTEC Ceramic Design course in South Manchester where she was tutored by a wide range of contemporary ceramic artists including Kate Malone and Gordon Cooke.

Chiara has a Welsh Italian heritage and was brought up in Snowdonia, North wales surrounded by mountains but never far away from the sea - she would disappear for hours into the mountains and walk the deserted beaches.  In Umbria, Italy some summer holidays were spent located deep in the foot hills of the Apennines. So often immersed in the sounds and sights of these wild, natural environments, she became fascinated by the curve and line of the landscapes.  It was only much later when living and working in European cities that Chiara began to enjoy the architecture of the built environment and appreciate how contemporary architects strive to understand and emulate the natural environment.

Chiara's focus on form and structure is influenced by the balance, movement, strength and presence found in both the natural and built worlds. 

Her ceramic sculptures are created using the ancient hand-building techniques of pinching and coiling in preference to the faster method of using a potter's wheel or slab building.  This method of building each piece slowly and rhythmically "knits" together the clay and strengthens it it in a way that enables Chiara to take risks with form and structure.  So even when a piece may look fragile, it has strength.

The process of hand-building is as important as the finished piece as it always informs Chiara's original design and she allows the rhythm of making to take her in different directions.  By following this process each resulting piece is unique.  The individual shape of each form creates its own shadow and light play and by using sculptural white clay there is rarely a need to glaze, allowing the form to speak for itself.

Chiara's work is exhibited in galleries in London, Sussex and the Cotswolds as well as Manchester and North Wales.

Chiara now lives and works in a coastal town in West Sussex where she has her studio.

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