Val Paradiso is an imaginary valley based on different existing geographical places where I grew up.
The mountain scenery blends with the hills of the countryside colliding in a space inhabited by childhood memories, magical encounters, teenage adventures, mystical experiences, idealised love and a magical bond between girls that echoes ancient rituals and witchcraft.
The fictional documentary work is a coming of age tale, retold from different points of view.
Personal experiences are narrated and transformed, almost becoming legends whispered softly, from mouth to mouth, from me to my half-sister and her girlfriends.

The story takes its foundation from an elaboration of personal events that took place in different stages of my life - childhood, teenagehood and nearly adulthood. There is a behavioural pattern that evolves in each one of the stages: the creation of enclosed and inaccessible psychical spaces where to find refuge from an unstable world. The work explores how the connotation of these private spaces changes and evolves with age. The idea of using imagination as a way to find shelter from trauma is the pivotal theme of the project that connects the different chapters; the fabric and the weight of imagination changes as our protagonist grows old.
Separate threads are entangled in this modern fairy tale, where science blends with magic and reality is filtered by imagination.

The colours (green, blue and red) acquire a symbolic connotation through the weaves of the work. The subthreads of the plot seem at first disconnected, and a profound necessity to give shape to something that is formless is expressed in the work.
The subthreads of the plot seem at first disconnected, and a profound necessity to give shape to something that is formless is expressed in the work.
Hidden elements are dug and brought to surface from memory, as in a psychoanalytical process.
Entangled thoughts are unceasingly detangled in all the work, like in the delicate gestures of a girl pulling the woolen thread of a ball of yarn. The tale, whispered through the different media present in the work, is retold through the depiction of my little sister and her closest friends. They freely reenact my own story adding their personal contribution to the scene, becoming part of an infinite circle where memories are constantly repeated, re-lived and transformed.

A lake that used to become mysteriously red, nourishing legends as magical as fairytales, stands as a metaphor for something lost in time. The enigma of its unexplainable colour, solved by science, signifies the loss and the transformation of the concept of magic as experienced in childhood. The defining moment in the story is revealed when science and magic begin to blend.
Today, the lake doesn’t turn red anymore, and researchers are trying to bring back its wonderful colours. The gesture of a scientist trying to restore something that in the past was linked to magic is somehow poetic, almost a way albeit symbolical to make peace with the melancholy of growing up. Even if things evolve, there is still a way to retain a hint of magic in adulthood.
In this project, we encounter the ruins of a house that has been rebuilt through the years. Inspired by its resilience, I decided to reconstruct it once again. The house is present on paper and becomes physically alive through a small ceramic model and a short animation that evokes a child’s world. Again, to recreate something that is lost, such as the colour of the lake, loaded with hidden meanings, the girls in my stories whisper spells while pouring coloured water, just as I use coloured casting resin in the attempt to recreate its lost magic.

As a child I used to spend hours creating paper homes, imagining fantastical stories or acting as a scientist with beakers and coloured water. Through this work I found the closure of the loop in the acknowledgement that, even if more consciously, I am still playing with stories, nature, words and colors. The work of art becomes an imaginary world where to find refuge, reconstructing and elaborating a past that made me develop imagination as a necessary tool to survive.
This tale doesn’t necessarily end with “they lived happily ever after”, because it continues in time. The little girl with green hair has grown up: she doesn’t necessarily share her colours more easily; she doesn’t even have green hair anymore, but, looking more closely, under a shy, plain appearance, a waterfall of emerald green appears.