'Follicle Symphony' is Ludovica Gioscia's third solo show with the gallery exploring the experience of IVF and pregnancy in her practice and philosophy. The exhibition presents a new body of mixed media work by the London-based Italian artist created in 2022 during several stages of her pregnancy.
Gioscia's work reads like a diary of layered experiences and relations, which now include the incredible journey the body and mind undergo whilst forming a new life. 'Follicle Symphony' invites the public into a womb-like space, revealing her amazement at the wonders of pregnancy, which include building a new organ. She achieves this with her distinctive artistic style and approach to materials, creating a magical interpretation of the process in textiles, papier-mâché, ceramic and other mixed media.
Inspired by placenta, follicles, embryos and polycystic ovaries, the works presented in the exhibition use holes, circles and string to imitate these micro and macro biological forms. In one example of this, Gioscia uses pulped papier-mâché balls to create growth-like forms on framed gesso panels and large white primed dishes that the artist likens to petri dishes - the lab instrument used to culture the embryo. The works are an evolution of the artist's pulp archives, within which all types of mashed paper are meticulously labelled, and ingredients listed. However, in these new works, all labels have disappeared, and the samples are floating in space, free to create new combinations.
Presented as part of the show are new works from the artist's ongoing Portals and Giant Accessories series. 'Portals', began in 2017, are large scale textile works which hover in space. The artist sees each Portal as a performer with its own role and story, and simultaneously as membranes existing between different dimensions. The new smaller floating textiles have titles such as 'Galactic Placenta', 'Lunar Coincubation', 'Nauseous Sunshine' and 'Organic Portal' – with the latter depicting a Caesarean section. They use materials including wool, string and magnetic tape to visualise veins, organs, and medical procedures.
The ‘Giant Accessories’ sculptures on display are a Giant Earring, inspired by polycystic ovaries, and a floor to ceiling Giant Necklace. The necklace is constructed of large papier-mâché pearls, reminiscent of the vascular system in magenta, alizarin crimson, phthalo blue and dioxazine purple, which hold together a placenta-like pendant.
The body of work is a journey into the ever-changing circumstances one must consider and adapt to during pregnancy. These are reflected through the amalgamation of different materials and combinations of processes that result in an otherworldly symphony of bodily experiences and cosmic assemblages.
Ludovica Gioscia (b. 1977, Rome, IT) lives and works in London. She holds a BA(Hons) in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art, London, UK (200) and an MFA in Fine Art Media from The Slade School of Fine Art (2004). Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fluor, Exibart, Exit Express, Flash Art International, Kunstforum, Etapes International, Elephant, The End and AN. Her work is included in ‘100 Sculptors of Tomorrow’, published by Thames and Hudson in 2019.
She has exhibited internationally at galleries and institutions including: Museo della Figurina, Fondazione Modena Art Visivie, Modena, IT; The Warhol Foundation, Pittsburgh, US; La Fabbrica del Cioccolato, Blenio, CH; Creative Centre Osaka, Osaka, JP; Palazzo da Mosto, Fondazione Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, IT; Fondazione MACC, Calasetta, IT; MACRO, Rome, IT; Palazzo Fiano, Rome, IT; La Centrale, Brussels, BE; FuturDome, Milan, IT; VITRINE, Basel, CH and London, UK; Baert Gallery, Los Angeles, US; Salon 94, The Flag Art Foundation, Allegra LaViola, NY, US; The Miro’ Foundation, Barcelona, ES; Jerwood Space, London, UK; South London Gallery, London, UK; MNAC, Bucharest, RO; Comfort Moderne, Poitiers, FR; Sotheby’s, London, UK; Kino International, Berlin, DE.