The image of young people who return to travel freely to countries unknown to them, towards new, important experiences, which will not only enrich their lives but also the country in which they will live, whether for a little or a long time, must not seem a utopia to us in this historical moment so difficult for all but a goal to continue to pursue, a golden future that will arise after so much darkness, if we all strive in this direction. Spring, rebirth, radiance, the feminine potential that Bloom as you are loves to tell I found it enclosed in the history and art of a young woman who has made so many cosmopolitan experiences as well as inner growth, drawing inside of himself, in his heart, an idea of inclusive art, ever closer to people. Born in Rome, where she lived for 5 years, then moved to Luxembourg with her parents until she came of age, Juliette, 23 years old now, studied in London and then left for Brazil where she participated in an art residence entitled “Art and magic” in January 2019 “Held in Ecovila TERRA UNA, the headquarters of an NGO, TERRA UNA, which since 2003 has been working to promote and support transdisciplinary actions aimed at ecological regeneration, social redesign and integral development of human beings. Located close to nature, on a 48 hectare plot within the Serra da Mantiqueira APA, in the municipality of Liberdade, Minas Gerais, a natural paradise, Ecovila is a family-run company that seeks to integrate housing, work, education and free time. The ecovillage is consolidating itself as an interdisciplinary educational center for rural-urban integration in order to spread a more sustainable life model. Juliette told me about this experience, her inner journey, art, her research related to femininity and how her life is blooming beautifully.
How did you find out that you wanted to be an artist?
Maybe I never actually found out. Let’s say that I was very open to art at a specific moment. I was 16 when I went to visit the Tarot Garden and saw the works of Niki de Saint Phalle. You have depicted the world of women a lot. He sent me something strong and from there I was interested in creativity, I started to paint, to explore. A couple of years later I decided to leave for the Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London, I took a one-year preparatory course for my degree, where I was able to discover different disciplines of art and design.
You were one of the young women to participate in an artistic residence in TERRA UNA in Brazil in January 2019. How was this experience?
It was the first time that I had an artistic residence. The place was in the jungle. Waterfalls, large mountains with wild nature isolated from the world. I was interested in getting in touch with all this also to stimulate the creative process, I was sure it would be a wonderful experience. The culture of Latin America has always intrigued me. When I arrived with the other young people present, we had to develop our personal project on art and magic, a very broad and personal theme. We were a group of 12 all Brazilian artists, apart from me and a Canadian girl. We got to know the real Brazil by being in direct contact with their culture. When you start creating, developing a language to transmit your art you see how much it makes you grow, it feeds you. I was there for a month and during that period I carried out a participatory performance project, involving the members of the ecovillage.
What does the work you have created consist of?
It was my second real personal work. During my Bachelor Degree in London, I was already starting to explore female language. What it means to be a woman for me, how I live it, how I can grow and improve myself. I did a thesis entitled “The nutritive mother goddess through theater“. And so I have integrated this theme into my artistic practice and consequently into my research in Brazil. In the performance developed during the residence I wore a costume that extended towards the public with woolen ropes to which sculptures represented the “Ovopeito” were tied (Ovo = egg, peito = breast, from Portuguese, ed), that is sculptures that recall and symbolize women’s fertility. The experiment was to see how each participant managed to relate to the female body and find its interpretation, to identify symbols and metaphors based on their experience. In my vision the egg was linked to fertility, it represented the cosmic egg. The strings, on the other hand, were like umbilical cords that extend. For the materials used I explored what nature around me could offer me. The eggs were made with chalk and then covered with ground of many different colors. Red, purple, yellow. Around me there was the garden of the residence and while people passed by, looking at me, I watered these eggs tied to me as if they too should symbolically grow.
How did people react?
At the beginning they were lost. Learning to interact with the public is not easy. After a while they felt free to touch the “Ovopeites”, to embrace them, to explore this created object. Each could feel something different or feel nothing. For example, a lady was moved. The female body is something very strong. This theme, explored through art, in general involves women more than men. My wish is to reach everyone.
And as a performer, what emotions did you feel?
The theme of the female and the fact of being at the center of the performance leads you to get naked. I realize that being an artist pushes you to this constantly to transmit, to touch the essence of your emotions. To the other comes what you discover through your inner search. What I like about participatory performance is that it allows you to involve the viewer at 360 degrees. There is no boundary and you can reach anyone. To those who do not hear, to those who do not see. You can break down communication barriers.
What are you left with sharing the residence with other artists?
The rites done together were beautiful. We were in the middle of the water of the falls and we sang. They are loving, open-hearted people. It is a type of energy and a wonderful community.
What role do you think art has in this historical moment?
To include people as much as possible. We have to make great use of it. I see that a lot of applied art is being done in specific contexts to help people with disabilities. It can support, it can also be cathartic and stimulates the fact of being together. Art has this strength to bring people together, to create intimacy and in a disconnected world like ours we need to find all this.
What are your moments of maximum creativity?
When I have a lot of energy and not in difficult moments. I feel that it is a theme very related to learning to love yourself and understand each other.
Do you feel you have reached a point where you love yourself?
In the years in which I lived in London, I understood that it is important to make a path of personal growth towards self-love. I started to explore my spirituality. I have experienced different philosophies, Buddhist meditation, yoga. All the personal discovery made through spiritual research has led me to do the jobs I am doing. In a way, I think that creating art and learning to love yourself can be experiences that grow hand in hand. Art is cathartic, it gives us access to the most fragile parts of us and allows us to express them with strength. The biggest shot, on my way to self-love, started when I started to participate in the circles of women, places where women meet, are together to dance, sing, meditate in celebration of the divine feminine, often immersed in nature. These experiences have nourished me, cured me, freed me from many internal blocks. Celebrating the divine feminine is celebrating themselves as women, and I think this is a powerful practice for self-love. By celebrating the feminine, I managed, at least for a good part, to love myself and accept myself for who I am. Art, self-love, femininity are one for me. What I have experienced is that by embracing the energy of the sacred female, as women, you have access to a creativity and a deeper love within yourself.
What projects are you working on now?
I’m also trying to enter the world of scenography. I recently finished an internship as an assistant to a set designer and I participated in theater projects. I also enrolled in the Brera Academy in Milan, where I live now, and I’m taking a preparatory course to enroll in scenography. I’d like to continue working in this area, do a job that can give me a living but also joy because I think that creative work always gives joy. Theater always inspires me many other stories, it helps me to understand society, the different realities, the world. It allows you to have a broad horizon and leads you to great personal growth.
So young, so smart. What would you recommend to your peers who would like to take this path?
If one has the opportunity to pursue his dreams it is right to do so. The artist also has a duty. Through humility, he must know that if he has a message to give, he must commit to transmitting it and be consistent with himself. Sometimes the economic fact leads you to betray your nature. Working on yourself helps you understand what a work outlet can be in balance with your art. It is also important to get out of yourself and do other jobs when you are starting out.
How are you experiencing this delicate historical moment?
With interest. I try to replace fear with curiosity in looking at how this historical moment can make the human being more aware. The curiosity of a certainly different future, any shape will take. I try to stay in acceptance, because it is only through acceptance that we can find freedom. Confined within the walls of our houses, we are making a journey within ourselves, and this can be a gift to get to know each other better, to understand what the value of our life is for us. Finding, through this situation, the possibility of being more grateful, as well as leaving space for the dream, since, in an uncertain future, the ability to dream is a way to make the present more alive.