Children of Our Time | Federica Zianni at Fonderia Artistica Versiliese

Arte Laguna Prize is always perceptive to the realities of the territory that work in the Contemporary Art field. Among these, one of the most renown is Fonderia Artistica Versiliese, with which the Prize collaborated for the first time as part of the sixteenth Edition. The winning artist was Federica Zianni, below is the tale of her experience in the Fonderia.

Before starting your stay at the Fonderia Artistica Versiliese, did you have a specific project in mind? How did it evolve during the residency period?
With this residence I saw one of my greatest desires come true. The project I nominated was a dream in the drawer that I had been harboring for a long time. I have always wanted to make one of my cocoons in bronze, but the economic aspect has always blocked me. I made a sketch, similar to the chrysalises of my current artistic research, and I made a cast of it. Thanks to the patience and perseverance of the artisans and workers of the foundry, I was followed in every step and the result was a fusion beyond all my expectations in terms of quality and beauty.

Why among the various special prizes proposed by Arte Laguna Prize did you send your application for this one in particular?
Lost wax casting is the technique that I prefer and that represents me. I love practicing and teaching it. It is noble, ancient, has a millenary tradition and is the most reliable technique to deliver a work to eternity. The qualities of bronze are undisputed, and the material alone has a significant value: it is ductile, resistant, and shiny. Until now I have worked in foundries in Lombardy and Lazio, carrying out my projects in contexts that are certainly less international than Fonderia Artistica Versiliese, so applying for this Award for me was a fundamental step for my professional growth and a hope that I would win it. It was a superlative experience that does not end with the two weeks of residence.

The images shared on social media show that you work with material that seems very particular. Can you tell us why this choice, and what creative process it requires for the final realization of the work?
In addition to bronze, I use inner tubes and tourniquets to create a material and conceptual paradox that radically contrasts with a material that is at the antipodes of plastics, ancient, reliable, rigid, shiny, and durable such as bronze. The use of inner tubes and tourniquets stems from my fear that the only visible nature in the coming decades will be the one artificially realized by the human being and that our contact with real nature will thin so much that we will settle for a pale copy of it.

To date, what have the residency experience and the relationship with Arte Laguna Prize left you?
The experience of the residence has certainly enriched me, I thought I had already learned the fundamentals of the foundry, yet retracing all the steps from forming to patina, with artisans and workers with decades of experience I treasured techniques and tricks that I will take with me in the next processes. The experience with Arte Laguna Prize was very positive.

If you only had ten words to describe your work, what would they be?
Stratification, interweaving, dedication, research, experimentation, paradox. The other words I leave to the viewer to decide.


Fonderia Artistica Versiliese has selected Federica Zianni for the peculiarity with which the artist approaches the material, which becomes the research tool through which an ancient process such as lost wax casting is projected into a totally contemporary vision, product of the time in which we live. From the account of both parties and the image shared by the artist it is possible to see how this collaboration has really given unexpected and intriguing fruits.