In our hectic and relentless daily lives, with commitments that keep coming at us, it is sometimes difficult to find time, opportunity, and inspiration to meditate on the essence of our existence and the beauty of simplicity.
This occasion happened to me when I met Angela Simone, who woke me up from the torpor of routine and opened a window on new and fascinating opportunities that life holds for us.
With her effervescent frankness, her elegant simplicity and vibrant energy, Angela Simone transforms a commonly trivialized material, paper, into sinuously shaped masterpieces resonating of pure poetry.
Paper in her hands reveals all of its grace and harmony, maintaining at the same time the charm of genuine simplicity.
Thereza Pedrosa: Did you dream of doing a particular profession when you were a child?
Angela Simone: In actual fact I did not have a particular favourite profession, but for sure I wanted to marry an artist. Today I understand that I have achieved my dream by marrying myself, since I am the artist.
T. P.: Today you are a paper designer, a graphic designer and a photographer. Is there a common thread that unites these different activities? How do these different activities influence each other? How would you describe your combined paper designer-graphic designer-photographer profession?
A. S.: I would make a distinction between graphic designer and photographer. The former has been my profession for 30 years, the latter instead is a passion of mine but I cannot say it’s a profession. And finally, paper designer is my favourite medium. I think that those who approach these three expressions must surely have a special sensitivity and attention to harmony and aesthetics. In each of them I can put across both my rational and instinctive sides, my engineering or artistic approaches, my exact or casual outlooks. In this way, I feel complete. I like to wear all these three hats at once under the “paper designer’s umbrella” just for fun!
T. P.: How did you come to paper as the raw material for your jewelry?
A. S.: At one point, I realized that the development of the technology was taking away from me the pleasure of working with paper and by hands. I therefore needed to go back to my first love, but the choice of the ‘paper jewelry ‘ was not rational at all, an unconscious need rather. Paper was the tool that could embody my nature the most and the jewel, at that particular time of my life, represented my “feminine side lost”. As I was creating pearls, I’d discover a whole new world full of countless creative possibilities and I fell in love with this art. It was a brand new inner adventure.
T. P.: You have stated that your paper-jewelry period is just a transient phase of your career. Surely paper jewelry will inspire you to successfully move towards many other materials and techniques. What can you anticipate about your next non-paper creations?
A. S.: For me it is impossible to anticipate what is going to happen. It’s simply what I feel, I returned to the raw material and to the senses. Time will tell.
T. P.: Please tell us about your most cherished achievement as a paper jewelry designer. Are there any fellow designers you admire? why?
A. S.: I remember with great pleasure my first exhibition in 2004 at the Fabriano Boutique in Milan, so exciting that I still keep the book of signatures full of accolades.
Later, in 2009, it was equally a joy to participate to the ‘PAPER JEWELLERY’ event at the Triennale Museum of Milan along with other 60 artists from all over the world. Among those, Nel Linssen, who I admire from that very first time for her ability to make a simple paper technique something quite extraordinary.
T. P.: How important is music in your life? how much influence it has on your work? What kind of music do you listen to?
A. S.: When I had to think and decide what job I wanted to do in my life, one of the priorities was: ‘one that would allow me to listen to music!’. I really like fusion, impromptu and unusual musical instruments. So, to me, music has to be creative too. As a teenager, the sweet voice of James Taylor would lull me; nowadays it’s the equally sweet and hypnotic voice of Piers Faccini.
T. P.: You were born in a seaside town, and from a young age this probably inspired you to look at the sea horizon and dream of what’s beyond. Now that you’ve grown up and live in Milan, how do you pursue your search for inspiration and creativity?
A. S.: Initially, the inspiration came from the outside, now it comes from the inside so the place where you are does not really matter. We all are more or less bombarded by zillion of images but, at the end of the day, the main creative media are silence and listening only to the raw material.
For more info about Angela Simone visit her website.