When we talk about a story, we often use expressions which concern how it unfolds, the weave and warp of its plot and the ligatures of its narrative: words used in their figurative sense and deriving from the world Claudia Varrone inhabits. A world of customised objects, where the meaning of their lives joins ours, the way we can unite ourselves with a pair of curtains or a bedspread or a cushion to tell our own story.
“My grandmother Ersilia was widowed very young. She was forced to wear mourning, but she hated it, so over time she started designing bouquets – finding pieces of coloured cloth and sewing them onto her black skirt like little pockets, trying to take possession of that socially acceptable representation of pain, and bring it closer to the conception she had of herself”. Claudia explains that this was how she first fell in love with material, colours and patches and how she began painting on fabric and studying – first with an arts diploma and then by herself – until she had a cupboardfull of her creations. It was thanks to an architect friend that, five years ago, she finally emptied that cupboard out and started doing her first exhibitions, and thanks to what she saw as she travelled markets and fairs all over Europe that she found her own style and her own voice.
It has now been three years since she opened her own shop/workshop in Latina, a place where she creates her collections using mixed techniques (embroidery, printing, carving, painting, zippers and slashes in the cloth that create continuity between the inside and outside), hard-to-find fabrics (from certified raw materials to recycled material and glow-in-the-dark threads), chromatic dissonances and, above all, stories. Claudia intertwines threads, weaving them together to recount and tailor images, creating unique, figurative objects and giving new meaning to the things we know.
The story has been written by Rossella Milone, writer