Mechanical Shifters

Strange worlds inhabited with even stranger creatures

The art of

Letizia Gavioli

Strange worlds inhabited with even stranger creatures. To enter these fantastic worlds one is required to alter one’s state of consciousness, to exit the ‘here and now’ and to travel into a world of wondrous poetic imagination rife with visual metaphor, symbol and image, replete with strange plastic meta-cityscapes and quirky characters.

The viewer must be willing to journey into the inner-scape of these works, willing to allow the unfamiliar and unknown world of their own unconscious memory and imagination to find and make meaning.

In classically trained, Italian born artist Letizia Gavioli’s paintings and drawings we enter a world filled with machine parts and elements that have metamorphosed into frogs, ants, chooks, dancers and portraits as well as basilicas, sky-scrapers and industrial buildings. These seemingly familiar machine parts are transformed through the artists deliberate distortion of scale, displacement, de-construction and re-configuration into landscapes and characters of fantasy, humour, subtle wisdom and wry wit. They are not cold and clinical, rather they exude qualities, emotions, feelings, strengths and weaknesses we as humans can readily identify with.

The artist offers a unique visual feast drawn from the ingredients of the Surrealists, cubists, constructivists and futurists, with a mix of the classical architecture and her own unique ingredients as a garnish on top.

There is a timeless aspect to these paintings populated as they are with mechanical structures and forms alluding to classical and futuristic industrial city scapes set as it were in/on a paradoxically fluid yet solid glass foundation. Timeless, yet deliberately measured and cleansed of all flotsam and jetsam, these works challenge the viewer to question reality as we perceive and assume it to be.

Letizia’s shifters are confident , they stare back at you with a strength and independence of self. A quiet challenge is offered up.

In contemplating the works one slowly becomes aware of the ‘silence.’ The communication between the work and the viewer takes place in the field of energetic silence. Visual art IS a silent language. It’s power to connect and speak through silence directly to feelings and emotion, is not to be confused with the spoken or written word, bound as it is, by the limits of letters, words and sentences. What we have here is the language of the unconscious, of the inner soul/truth of the artist, an artist who through her deft drawing and painting skills offers the viewer a unique visual language of image and symbol transformed through the manipulation of finely machined steel mechanical parts.

The birth of these mechanical art objects, be they figurative interpretations of animals, humans or city buildings and landscapes, has its source in Leticia’s love affair with the motorcycle, that archetypal symbol of power and the freedom of the open road. For Letizia, to mount her motorbike is to become one with it. It is no accident that the phallus is a frequent character in her works. The motorbike parts while being the source for Letizia’s inspiration, are also one senses, friends with whom she is very comfortable and familiar. Her machine is a world within itself, a world where the parts when put together correctly create new life, a life from which Letizia draws energy, identity, understanding and love, a life which she willingly shares with those prepared to spend the time to sit in silent communication with.

The artist’s paintings pay homage to the beauty and perfection of the machine and all its parts and draw connections between it, ourselves, and the conscious and metaphysical worlds we inhabit. The inspiration, imagination, integrity and the technical competence with which she presents her work to the viewer is an offering too rich to pass up lightly.


Ken Raff.