Wednesday, November 26, 2008

See the body electric

Artist Cynthia Fusillo examines nature and self

Express Staff Writer

"Earth Body," by Cynthia Fusillo. Mixed media at Gallery DeNovo.

Cynthia Fusillo's lust for life and languages has taken her to various places including Africa, which has inspired he latest exhibition, "Conjugating Nature," at Gallery DeNovo in Ketchum.

Fusillo, who makes her home in Barcelona, Spain, will attend its opening for Gallery Walk on Friday, Nov. 28, 6-9 p.m. In addition, Fusillo will give a talk on her work at Gallery DeNovo on Saturday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m. Gallery DeNovo is located on the corner of First Avenue North and Sun Valley Road.

"After a trip to Africa, I was impressed with faces," Fusillo said. "I was in my studio and started to draw with white glue and threw dirt on it. These faces came out, about a hundred of them and all different. I worked with that and I like to use dirt, sand and seashells. I then started tracing my body, my face and my eyes to get the basic form. I let the materials tell me what to do."

Inspired by the human figure and the natural elements, Fusillo's recent body of work encompasses the process of creation with human expression. Sheets of layered natural paper that have been drawn, sewn, waxed and burned are combined with natural materials to create a figure.

"I find treasures," Fusillo said. "It's what inspires me. It's the small things I see every day—a little leaf or a feather fallen in a corner somewhere."

Fusillo is also a published poet and will incorporate text from her writings within the image itself. In addition Fusillo has created shoes for this exhibition.

"The shoes that I make are all about following your 'camino', your path," Fusillo said. "I put little shoes on the floor, which follow a leaf path."

Fusillo's paintings are layered and contain her perspective but she is enthralled when it takes a life of its own. In a recent exhibition of her work in a small town outside of Barcelona, townspeople helped gather leaves for her show.

"I put myself in a particular space when I am working," Fusillo said. "I really like to be inside the work and become part of the work and then separate from it so it becomes more universal."

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