Raffaella Zavalloni


Raffaella Zavalloni was born in 1956 in Savignano sul Rubicone, Italy. She lives and works nearby in Cesena. Happily self-taught, she has been drawing and painting since childhood. After studying philosophy with a focus on aesthetics at the University of Bologna, she has designed and made theater costumes, published naturalist guides of plants and animals, and painted tapestries. For about ten years corrugated cardboard has been the focus of her artistic research. “Seismography of The Soul”, could be the title of the original works of this artist from Cesena, queen in the art of the metamorphic transformation of the paper and waved cardboard: a poor material transformed by her exquisite creativity into oceans floors and telluric landscapes with strong emotional intensity.

Marisa Zattini


1995/2009 - Macfrut, Cesena
April 2006 - Solo Ex. “Onduline”, Foyer del Teatro Bonci, Cesena
May 2006 - Group Ex. “della Natura”, Il Vicolo, Cesena
June 2006 - Group Ex. “del Labirinto”, Il Vicolo, Cesena
October 2007 - Solo Ex. “Piccole Eternità”, Il Vicolo. Cesena
March 2008 - Solo Ex. “Sismografie”, Foyer del Teatro Bonci, Cesena
March 2009 - Group Ex. “L’arte del riciclaggio”, Il Vicolo, Cesena
November 2009 – Paper dress show, “Alle falde del Kilimangiaro” RAI programme
October 2010 - “Butterfly” installation, Macfrut, Cesena
October 2010 – Mongarte. Racconti plurimi del riciclaggio, Sogliano al Rubicone

My childhood is a happy and close memory. I was born in a sunny room with a balcony suspended over the river Rubicon. The river was my landscape for 14 years, a panorama of clear and reassuring water in summer, frightening and dark in the currents of winter. It is here I discovered the pleasure of looking, watching the water running, the return of the seasons, the life and death of animals, plants and flowers. Looking was like playing with one’s eyes, open to shapes and colors, the real and imaginary wonders of a daily children’s theater all around me that made me feel like singing, dancing and drawing. I left my childhood at the river, but I kept everything: dancing, wich still has a hold on me and makes me able to express shapes with my body. Singing, in a polyphonic choir, where they taught me that notes drawn on lines can be transformed into music, and each sign is a sound that makes you vibrate while standing still. Looking has always been my companion, cultivated as a necessity, an inclination to respect and support, a beatitude. And drawing as well: on rocks, pottery shards and the walls of my balcony as a child, or on fabric, paper, and wood as an adult. And now corrugated cardboard, which is the focus of my search for its hidden riches. For me it is a simple, mutable material: it has two smooth sides and in the middle a secret, wavy soul. The light plays with its texture, creates shadows and moves them. It can be painted, peeled and modeled, creating shapes and volumes: it can be sculpted waves, braids, fans, and it changes as your vantage point moves. Left its natural Havana brown color, even its name is evocatively beautiful; it is a discrete, meditative beauty. The use of color reveals its mimetic nature: it becomes wood, plastic, or metal. Color is a pure element, a thought. Colors that are at first glance contrasting and strident can create harmony, exalting each other in combinations of tone and timbre, like musical instruments in a symphony, or different voices in a choir. What I do has an emotional, instinctive cadence; yet working with cardboard is a technique that requires time and precision. It is an orderly material that accepts my chaos, it is the stasis that encounters my movement, it is the time my art takes, closed and suspended in a still image. Because everything passes, everything has an end, finishes. Stopping the movement and leaving it there means exorcising the end, the passing. It’s like trying to tell yourself that that movement, that form, that moment will not die. Painting and sculpture, like my personal search for beauty, of shapes that dance and colors that sing, in the flow of suspended time. Because as Hillman writes, “Beauty is the way in wich the gods touch our sense, reach the heart and attract us into life”.