Aurora Sciabarra is a visual artist whose practice spans from the disciplines of painting, to collages and installations. Through her work she investigates to what extent the human beings' way of living can affect the environment.
Sciabbarra's works that focus on environmental issues are based on a process that mirrors that of natural entities, the slow development, highly intense labour and repetition. She normally begins by making a cast to use for the object she'd like to make and from it, layer after layer, develops the piece. The use of natural materials, such as beeswax, next to human-made ones is pivotal
to stress their co-existence.
Three key questions are behind her creations.‘How something functions? How something relates to something else? And what kind of effect[s] something has or may have on other things[s]?
These questions are the catalyst behind her thought
Gilles Deleuze wrote that ‘The peculiar character of schizophrenic machines derive from their putting together elements in play that are totally disparate and foreign to one another’. (The Two Regimes of Madness). Joining realities totally disparate to one another is part of Sciabarra's practice. Her research is fed by readings as they inform her thought process.
Consumerism plays a role in Sciabarra's work as well, "We’re living the time of Greta Thunberg and the climate change warriors. It’s also the time of deep ecology and low carbon footprint lifestyle. In such a context the space for Capitalism and massive consumption will inevitably be put into question."
"In 1970s J. Baudrillard reflected on the creation, distribution and use of consumer goods in a social space. He talked about the creation of a third entity, nor equal to flora or fauna, but present and representing a fundamental mutation in the ecology. He referred to consumer goods, proliferating among social, mental and environmental ecologies (to cite Felix Guattari’s work). Is a cultural change driven by a different lifestyle and directed towards a more ecological conscience on its way? I hope so for earth’s sake."
Her project on bees is the result of a multitude of experiences and readings. She got inspired by what she had read on the book Cradle-to-Cradle and the concept of universal design solution, by the concept of centralisation (Fordism) and its system of production based on a centralised assembly line, by the research she did for her ‘Butterfly Effect’ (she read that scientists suggested that radiation from mobile phones interfere with the bees’ navigation, making them disoriented), by a reading on the Green revolution, or Third Revolution and the application of Plant Protection Products on soil and seeds etc.
She presented her bees alongside flowers she had done with a beeswax based clay. "I didn’t want to use any colour for the flowers, as I needed to keep the clay as natural as possible. When I was making both bees and flowers I was preoccupied with the lightness of the bees and by the naturalness of the material for the flowers. But the lack of colour on both elements suggested a lack of vitality. Not having used colours was a good move, for it added another dimension to the project."
"I’m still producing bees to exhibit next Spring to the GroundWork gallery, King’s Lynn. It’s a space focused on art and environment and showcases artists who ‘care about how we see the world’."
Sciabarra is based in Worthing, West Sussex, which is a small city committed to becoming a plastic-free city. It's also the city for beekeepers (Worthing Beekeepers Association). "It’s a city of green intentions, maybe without an art scene just yet, apart for the Colonnade, an art gallery and three floors of art studios, but that can change."