11 January 2022

We interviewed Clara, a talented photographer from our collaboration with Bao.
In her photos she explores and exposes the fragility and beauty of the body, through a stylistic signature rooted in Sicily, particularly the island of Pantelleria.

BAO: What is your art? What do you want to communicate and convey?

Clara: It’s difficult to answer this question for me, there is a continuous research still in progress and I really don’t know when it will find an answer, but that’s probably why it’s beautiful. I can say that I love to tell about human bodies and relate them symbolically and dreamily to their surroundings. As a woman, I have also used and use photography to explore and expose the fragility and beauty of the female body, often drawing inspiration from folktales or myth.

BAO: How did your passion come about? Tell us about episodes in the past related to your passion and your art.

Clara: I owe the arrival of photography in my life to two people: Arabella and Mario. Mario is from Pantelleria, a friend of mine and a photographer by passion. When I was about 15 years old, he convinced my parents to buy my first reflex camera and taught me how to use it and also how to shoot on film. I met Arabella when I was about 14, I think. She was my mother’s cousin, a special person, fragile and poetic in her own way. I only saw her once in my life, when she put a compact camera in my hand and, observing the enthusiasm in my eyes at discovering this new ‘game’, said to me: Clara, you have to do this. A few weeks after her death I received a package with a gift from her, an underwater camera that she had sent me before she died.  These two people understood before I did that I would dedicate love and precious time to photography, I think of them with affection.

BAO: How does your creative process come about, what inspires you?

Clara: My Sicilian origins are certainly at the base of my work, and in particular most of my inspiration comes from the island of Pantelleria. I was born and grew up there, I started shooting on the island and my first subject was the island itself, with its nature, its rocks, its energy; over time I have tried to develop my own taste and to understand what I wanted to convey and in what form, but always linking up with the sensations of the island. I’m always looking for that veracity, the carnal essence of the volcano.


BAO: What are the difficulties you face today in making your art known and what do you need?

Clara: Today, social networks help a lot in the dissemination of one’s work, and they have helped me personally to grow a lot. But at the same time, social networks give us the feeling that we already have something at our fingertips without really owning it. So in this case you often have a lot of visibility but little real investment in your work. It would be nice to find a way that could help you transmit and give the right value to your art as well as to your profession as an artist.

BAO: How do you think authenticity relates to artistic creation? How do you experience it in your creative process?

Clara: I have many models that inspire me and that influence my photography accordingly. I certainly try to translate it into a language that is closer to me, to obtain something that in its own small way can amaze me and those who observe it. It’s nice to recognise yourself and be recognised in your work, to find a sort of stylistic signature. 
However, I try not to force my hand, and to produce only when I really feel the need. I think that’s the way to authenticity. We are all ‘unique pieces’ and communicating one’s art and work in general, if sincere, is always authentic. I just don’t think it should be forced.