Selena Leardini was born and raised in the city of Trento, Italy. Selena attended the School of Art in Vicenza, Italy where her focus was graphic design and dress making. She is currently living in Trentino, Italy where she is working on her “Noir” series. This series is inspired by vintage childhood photos of boys and girls poised in tautly positions. Selena’s eerie illustrations of children in various stages of childhood are adorned with decorative and gothic frames giving her pieces a sense of antiquity, a time long gone. Her immortalized subjects often look saddened and aloof unable to grasp the meaning of childhood’s happy moments. When asked about her lost children, Selena had this to say:
You use vintage photographs of children looking glum and distant as part of your inspiration. What is it about these photos that fuel your imagination? These family photographs that have no ownership forces me to bring back their memories. All of these little abandoned children within the photographs are like faded memories…simply forgotten. Their eyes look as if they are full of questions. I, like many others, exist like the children in the photographs – waiting and suspended in time.
Your illustrations depict exclusively human and anthropomorphic children. In many of your pieces, your children seem to present a ghostly presence. Do these children represent people you know or are they merely your phantasmal creations? These children represent our inner fears and what we have come to learn to live with. Very often these little companions mean no harm.
I feel that some of the details in your work such as the dresses and attire of your lost children are charming and beautifully rendered. You attended arts and crafts school in Vicenza for dress design. Has this particular education helped you in your current work? During the time I went to the arts and craft school, I was living in a family-house run by nuns in a small village in Breganze, Vicenza, Italy. The school I attended was really pushed onto me by the nuns. The nearest school teaching a good drawing program was Eigurino but I did not attend that school due to its location which was very far from where I was living at the time.
I do feel that the school at Vicenza was very useful to set up my drawing fundamentals. My knowledge of acrylics painting was later developed through practice and experimentation.
Selena has exhibited in various galleries around the world more notably Flower Pepper Gallery in Pasadena, California, Museo Vitaloni in Milano, Italy, and Auguste Clown Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. If you would like to view more of Selena’s work, visit her Facebook page or you may contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All images are courtesy of Giampaolo Calza’.