Installation / Land / Site-specific
Maria has just graduated from The Royal College of Arts, completing a Masters Degree, summer 2023, with excellence across theoretical and practical aspects of their degree. Their work has been shown internationally and acquired in private collections in the UK and Italy, some of which include Collezione 54, Milan, IT and Prometeo Gallery’s own private collection, Milan. IT. Positano is this year’s awardee of the Gilbert Bayes Award 2023, Royal Society of Sculptors and the STC x RCA Air 2023, a 1 year artist in residence solo award at South Thames College and was invited to take part in various international artist in residency programs. A few examples include Mason&Fifth x Hyphastudios, London UK and ViaFarini.org in Milan, IT. They are currently working on major solo and group exhibitions in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, MARec Museum x Contemporary Cluster, Marche, IT.
Positano constructs world-building installations in which historical material often references amor and body adornments from the southern Italian region and beyond. Greco-Roman armor is currently reimagined as a signifier of vulnerability and its body exposed from the inside out. These ‘reversed’ bodies interrogate and attempt to requilify notions of (gendered) strength and power, creating installations of fictional characters exposed at a junction between past history, present ecology, and future propositions. These bodies (shifting from abstract to figurative representation) are often presented within environments or sets, inviting the viewer to move within them. The artist is currently working across a variety of formats, developing a series of wallbased bassorilievi and self standing ‘character’ figures, furthermore gradually integrating the media of film and performative wearable sculpture in their work. Historical artefacts are integrated and given new context within the artist’s practice while simoultaneaously allowing their rich material histories to emerge. Maria uses discarded and up-cycled materials, choice which often results in the coexistence of eterogeneuos material combinations. Often self-imposed laborious and repetitive production methods are used to elevate and attend to the material, to the debris and to the rejected.
Positano sees the work as a return to - as a reconciliation with a sense of displacement, exploring a longed sense of stability and belonging. Responding to a nomadic upbringing, Positano navigates throught memory, oblivion, personal history, exploring relationships between heritage, remembrance and power. Adopting these to propose imaginative realities to be, escape in, to wonder and to resist, spaces to regain ownership over their memory and experience.