Giulia Ricci

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recent work, leading to a fusion of animal and mechanical textures crying out to be touched. As the largest sensory organ in our bodies, skin protects us from external threats, but it is also the primary site for experiencing the world through touch. ‘Let us not forget the body of the artist,’ advised Ricci in a recent panel discussion with a fellow artist, a philosopher and a neuroscientist, ‘[the body] informs the brain… it’s all one thing. The mediation of my body is fundamental.’5 The intense pattern making in Ricci’s work is the result of the repeated physical actions of her body. In forging a deeply performative connection with her materials and dedicating precious time to doing things meticulously over and over again, her approach could be described as ritualistic in nature. Ricci acknowledges this comparison and particularly enjoys the connection between her practice and the cyclical rituals that articulate our everyday lives: ‘I want my art to portray those mundane domestic tasks, like washing the dishes, because drawing has a similar mentality. You go on autopilot - it’s quite reassuring.’6 To Ricci, the repetitive processes of work are deeply restorative: an overriding sense of wellbeing emerges when the mind and the body work together. With these soothing thoughts in mind, it is possible to discern a spirit of gentleness and tenderness underpinning the entire practice. Giulia Ricci’s work celebrates the often underrated qualities of quiet perseverance, handling with deep care and being truly attentive to the present.

Natalie Rudd, April 2021

1 Giulia Ricci, The Grammar of Orientation, unpublished statement, 2013. 2 Jessica Lack, ‘Giulia Ricci: Ring Here Gallery’, The World of Interiors, October 2011, p.345. 3 Markus Brüderlin [ed.], Ornament & Abstraction: The Dialogue Between Non-Western, Modern and Contemporary Art, Yale University Press, 2001. 4 Author’s conversation with Giulia Ricci, 27 February 2021. 5 Patterns of Beauty web stream event, Bloomsbury Festival, October 23, 2020, featuring artists Giulia Ricci and Conrad Shawcross and the neurobiologist Professor Semir Zeki, chaired by the philosopher, Professor Barry C. Smith. 6 Lack,p.345.