On Monday the sixth of December, young artists Daniela Arida and Lillian Pennypacker will present their capstone exhibitions in AUR's art exhibition space & studios.

Daniela Arida presents "A step by step rebirth"

I am my art. My art is me.

Louise Bourgeois once said, “An artist can show things that other people are terrified of expressing.”which brings me to : I do what I do for therapy and enjoyment. It is my way of expressing myself and communicating with others. I have always been interested in the concept of psychology, understanding the subconscious and peoples dreams. Colours and pigments for me are calming and playing with them gives me some sort of control and freedom of my own world. There is some sort of relaxation that comes with art, whether it's the brushstrokes or the mixing colours with the palette knife in painting or the carving in printmaking. The process is an adventure for me, the canvases were like a mirror for me as I expressed personal content thus creating a distance between myself and the moment I am exposing. The process brought me awareness and inner peace.

The challenge here in my art is vulnerability. With my capstone pieces, it is as if I ‘put my heart out on my sleeve’. I am exposing the side that I prefer to keep to myself, the most fragile and most vulnerable side. My art is something I have always wanted to hide as I was scared of being judged, these pieces are my way of showing both my anger, my peace and the rollercoaster type emotional voyage I went through. I have loved art since I was a little girl and I always felt like it was the best way for me to express myself as I am dyslexic and when I spoke, many people didn’t understand the points I was trying to make. What I am exploring through my art is expression, communication. My art is more surrealist and inspired by Dadaism. I play with perception and messages behind the paintings without making it too realistic. The connection I have with my work is very personal, dealing with personal experience and heightened states of emotion also while rejecting aestheticism or the so-called classical standards in my artwork. Which is one of the reasons I chose to do my Capstone in Painting, to experiment with different mediums and textures, using collage, using acrylic as an under layer to some of the paintings, . Every person has layers and different aspects to them. They have things they hide from others, their behaviour can change depending on who they are with. The pieces in this project express my feelings towards certain situations I have found myself in throughout my education that have shaped me to be who I am today. These pieces express my growth at the American University of Rome these past three and a half years. My art is a response to life experiences that can be interpreted and bound to have its own narrative.

The small size of the canvases invite a close and intimate observation. The lunettes remind me of lockets, there is a sort of fragility and delicacy to them, lockets are considered something personal as you insert an image of a person or a memory and keep it around your neck as a reassurance. Here the lunettes tell a story of personal growth and discovery. The canvases emphasise self assurance with scenes of insecurity.Each art piece represents a rebus puzzle to be slowly deciphered, a collage of symbols of a personal state of being. Together they make up a narrative which shows an evolution of personal existential growth.

Lillian Pennypacker presents "Public Privacy"

Being an artist was my first and truest passion. I grew up in a family of fine artists and it was only after pursuing a different career that I realized how the making of art was essential to my navigation of the world. Through the medium of oil paint, I am able to define my own place by exploring the human experience of others.

This series reflects my time living in the highly populated city of Rome. It demands the constant external stimulation of traffic, crowds and public transportation. The outside world is a constant projection upon us and all of this is experienced while our inner world thrives.

My inner life reflects a person who is skilled at passing as an extrovert, yet often I am exhausted by social interaction. In these moments of introversion, there is only one thing on mind; I cannot wait to return to the quiet of my own thoughts. This desire for solitude in a crowd is known as public privacy, and it reflects that small part of us all that is solely in reference to ourselves, our past or our potential future. Playwright, Luigi Pirandello, further elaborated on this state of being,

“Each one of us has within him a whole world of things, each man of us his own special world. And how can we ever come to an understanding, if I put in the words I utter, the sense and value of things as I see them; while you who listen to me must inevitably translate them according to the conception of things each one of you has within himself. We think we understand each other, but we never really do.”

This figurative series is my attempt to bridge the gap between the world that exists in our inner mind and that of the physical world around us.

Soft edges surround both the figure and their surroundings because when approaching the world from the inside out, our attention to detail fades. A blur to the overall picture plane highlights the sharpness of certain figures who’s inner state is being explored. Yet even in sharpness, those in focus have the sense as if they are only a memory of their true form.

My process begins with photography. I take street photography of Rome to capture the fleeting moments often forgotten to time.

The selection of how much information that will be retained from the original photo varies. Compositions can be a direct translation from the photographic reference, while others are the interpretation of an inner story imagined. On some works, like ‘Day at the Park’, abstraction allows for full expression of the workings of the mind.

I begin by building layers of oil paint using a limited palette. I translate the psychological state of the figures and how their physical environment imprints upon them through the contrast of warm and cool tones, degrees of saturation, and value shifts. These moments of public privacy or alienation are honored and captured onto the canvas.