Paola Bazz in The Con Club
Anyone viewing the stunning collages in Paola Bazz’s exhibition at The Con Club in Altrincham this month will be very glad that this amazing artist resisted her mother’s advice to become a biologist!
Paola was desperate to attend art college but her mother wanted her to follow a more conventional route. A compromise was reached and Paola studied architecture, subsequently working as an architect in Venice. Although Paola enjoyed her first role which involved creating exhibitions for museums and galleries, she continued to paint and held exhibitions of her work in her native Italy.
A striking feature of all Paola’s work, including her early paintings, is the focus on the human face. She does not present a photographic representation of the subject’s face but rather her own interpretation, perhaps offering a glimpse of their personality or story. Paola sources images of faces from Pinterest, Instagram or is sometimes inspired by those of celebrities, notably Kate Moss and Susan Sarandon. She has also undertaken portraits on commission.
Details of Paola's early work
The evolution of Paola’s innovative 3 D work began when she became dissatisfied with painting directly onto a flat canvas. She began to apply newspapers to her canvases before painting on them to achieve a more textured effect. The development of Paola’s use of folded paper happened accidentally. Whilst preparing a mood board for an architecture client she was talking on the phone and began to fold pieces of paper into concertina shapes. At the end of the call she had all these concertina strips and decided that she should do something with them! At first, Paola used the folded paper in abstract works but then realised that the concertina strip itself could be used as a pixel in the creation of an image.
Paola recycles printed paper in her work, using leaflets, junk mail and typographers’ cut offs. She cuts the paper into strips measuring 2cm, 4cm and 6cm, selecting a limited colour palate of five shades - from white to grey to black. Sometimes this monochrome spectrum is varied by the introduction of a vivid coloured piece – often yellow or red - that catches her eye. Paola also incorporates letters, logos or other images that she finds in her paper stash. From a distance, the images are part of the whole but stand closer and these small details can create a story for the observer.
Paola uses different sizes of folded paper strips in her work
Having chosen the picture that she wishes to use, Paola pixalates the image using Photoshop and imposes a grid scheme over it. She decides upon the colours to be used, chooses her paper, cuts and folds it and then applies the strips to the canvas. She monitors her progress by taking photos as the flat image make it easier to see the effect. The process is labour intensive with each picture taking 1000 plus strips and 2 – 3 weeks to make depending on size.
The creation of the collages is labour intensive
Paola has received international recognition for her work. Her collages can now be found in the Saatchi catalogue which is received by 200 000 collectors in the United States and several of her works feature in the Saatchi online collection.
Nine of her collages will be exhibited at The Con Club on Greenwood Street in Altrincham this month as part of Hidden Altrincham 2017 ( 14th to the 24th September). The exhibition will be an opportunity to see a new collage technique that Paola has developed using wires to support folded paper within a plexi-glass frame.
The collage 'Mixed Messages' at the entrance to The Con Club
Paola is delighted that her works are to be exhibited in the restaurant as she feels that the industrial chic décor of The Con Club with its rough textured walls will complement her collages perfectly. The feeling is mutual with Suzie Gee of The Con Club commenting;
‘Paola Bazz creates unique and complex collages that are eye-catching and intriguing and which we feel will complement our restaurant beautifully. They will be a real show piece and we can’t wait to see the reaction from our customers and staff.’
The Con Club is just one of the local businesses involved in Hidden Altrincham 2017. Over thirty venues including offices, shops, bars, restaurants and other premises will be displaying a huge variety of work from over fifty artists and hosting workshops, poetry readings and story-telling sessions.
For more information visit Hidden Altrincham 2017