Q: How would you describe yourself as an artist?

Ah!  I don’t describe myself as an artist. I would say… I know how to paint with different mediums,  but I think mine is a long way to be an artist… I would define myself more as a painter!Irene Messia

Q: Where were you born and where did you study?

I was born in Rome.  I studied art in high school,  “liceo artistico Mario Mafai’ in Rome, during that time I was also studying a three-year painting course at S. Giacomo Art school.

I did an extra study in painting after high school, at Fine Art Academy in Rome. I studied and graduated in ‘History of Art” at RomaTre University of Rome in 2014.

I also have to thank my family for deciding to dedicate my life to Art.

My Mum and Dad met each other in the same Art school I went too when I was still a teenager (‘Scuola San Giacomo’).

My parents were the first that instilled the love for art in me and in my brother too, who is an awesome musician who lives and works here on the Gold Coast.  In fact, I think we have been lucky to grow up in a beautiful artistic environment.

Also, I have to say, my grandfather and his brother were artists too. Painters, decorators, and restaurateurs (it is a family business haha).

Q: What inspires you, and your art?

I get my inspiration from different sources. In this body of work, my inspiration comes from this narrative poem called Divina Commedia, by Dante (1308-1320 dc) From the Greek mythology, but also from poetry and philosophy.

So what I try to do is to combine all of this with my own experiences. In fact, these artworks are the initial result of a journey that started a few months ago along with the necessity to investigate a little bit deeper on the meaning of life. I think, on different levels and in different ways, each of us wonders about our existence.

Q: What mediums do you like to work with and why?

Irene Messia

I think the medium ‘par excellence’ is oil paint. Oil paint is vibrant and alive and can communicate with the painter. It doesn’t get dry so quickly like acrylic paint.

Q: Tell us more about your current exhibition BEING?

Maybe I can enclose the meaning of the exhibition in this sentence:

We human beings are both extremely fragile and eternal. Fragile in this existence which is the appearance of our Eternity (something like that).

Q: What is some important advice you would give to aspiring artists?

I don’t feel like I can give any advice… I can just say a few things, that for me are important… like rules.
First and foremost… have fun and play! As a first rule! Haha!

Then (a good and older artist told me once) always surprise yourself! We have to be the first to surprise ourselves!

And then… be committed to your work, even when you’re tired you have to be there and work. Even just an hour. And then maybe the tiredness will go away…maybe.
I think it is good to see your Artwork in two different ways…
First, as part of your life, painting has to be a Joy. Something that you do for yourself and your personal growth and all of that. Irene MessiaThe other way is to consider it as a job. And have some sort of self-discipline. That is what I do.

Learn how to paint and be an “artist” is a long journey. Once you get the technique is when you truly start your journey. It could take a lifetime. Personally, sometimes I feel really far away from mastering this “technique”.

Sometimes I feel a little bit closer to that, and that happens when I realise that “La Pittura” (painting) is not only a mere technique. Painting is leading you somewhere and you have to follow it, find it, and reveal it.

But I think…to get to that stage… takes total dedication.  Un amore eterno… An eternal love.

Q: Where can people find you and your art?

On Instagram as @Eirene_Messia

On Facebook as Irene Messia

On the Dust Temple site (as artist in residency)

Q: Can you give us more insight into your creative process and how your work evolves into a body of work?

Themis, Ethernity

This is one of the first painting I have painted in here as a resident artist.

First of all the model for this painting is a good friend of mine, I’ve met her here in Australia, Magda.  We studied “Business” (yes business! Ahah) in the same class. We share a lot of our students’ pain! Haha!
Anyway, I thought she would have been perfect for this painting, with her long black Algerian hair.

I wanted to represent a personification of Eternity in my way. Lately, I have been reading a few interesting philosophical theories about ‘this reality and the Eternity’ and that gave me some inspiration or something to work on…  I wanted to represent a figure really steady, secure, set, firm, rooted…and so on. Like an ancient mother. I thought the most important part of this painting is her face, her looks, so I spent most of the time on this. As I usually do, I tent to paint or don’t paint properly the rest of the body I consider not necessary for the entire composition. Or simply sometimes it looks better when some parts of the body disappeared, fades in the background. When a physical and heavy body slowly becomes just a line, a suggestion. (I follow what the painting is telling me to do, what it is better. Really!)

The background is Blue.…blue is one of my favourite colours. It is deep, like the deep ocean, (where the figure slowly fades in the dark or emerges).

The blue background also highlights the colours of the skin and it seems like the bodies want to come out of the two-dimensional surface. I can imagine sometimes these characters dancing moving around the space, around me (it sounds a bit crazy at this point haha) anyway to get back to Magda…So the first idea was to make a personification of Eternity.

This painting is one of the first paintings I have made when I started to investigate the meaning of this reality and on the idea of Eternity. I’ve made other paintings after this one that are following this line, this concept, and with them, I’ve made this entire body of work. The meaning of Eternity is something really hard to explain and what I do with my art, it is not trying to explain the concept. I think It is a form of investigation, research for myself. And then the final result is to create a sort of connection between the artwork and the audience, people.
What Art does is not “explaining” a concept, or one idea. The idea or the concept is more important for the Artist, but the final result has to help people to look at things in a different way, with different eyes.

The Ouroboros is often the symbol of the Eternal return. The word comes from Greek and means: snake who is eating is own tale.

“Originating in ancient Egyptian iconography, the ouroboros entered western tradition via Greek magical tradition and was adopted as a symbol in Gnosticism and Hermeticism and most notably in alchemy” mentioned in so many different cultures, almost in every cultures, in fact it is also mentioned in Jungian psychology, as an archetype, and also associated with Nietzsche philosophy of Eternal return.

So I wanted my Eternity sitting on an Ouroboros throne.

Then I thought to give her a second name, Themis… One day I was reading something about Greek mythology (I love Greek mythology) and I think I was reading some info on the story of the “Orae” {time} and then I read more about the goddess titan Themis, the personification of divine order, fairness and natural law. I thought my Magda looks like that a bit…