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Letizia Lopreiato: The Journey of Sonia’s Trees
12 May 2022 – 4 June 2022
The Journey of Sonia’s Trees is a solo exhibition by artist Letizia Lopreiato following her residency on the ONCA Barge where she spent time developing an existing project, Sonia’s Trees.
About the exhibition
The Journey of Sonia’s Trees and the recently published artist’s book Sonia’s Trees (2018-2021) comprise a 3.5 year artivism awareness campaign on eco-sustainability. Both are labours of love, manifestations in physical form of a call to protect and an invitation to care, felt and shared by the artist through her visual poetry and performative creative process. The artworks include 35mm photography, Super 8 film, and poetry and spoken word performance, depicting Letizia Lopreiato’s journey of observation.
Sonia’s Trees, the pilot project that this exhibition stems from, was developed as a social documentary centred on the topic of eco-sustainability using participative observation based on sociology and environmental psychology qualitative research methods. Letizia chose to centre this documentary process on the life-changing events of the story’s protagonist, Sonia McGuirk, a dear friend of the artist and single mother from Dublin, who decided to relocate to the West of Ireland in early 2018, looking for a more heart centred and sustainable life for herself and her family.
Sonia and her two children relocated from the city of Dublin to the native forests of County Clare in the West of Ireland via the Copper Coast in County Waterford, South East Ireland. This journey unfolds as both a personal and a physical quest of the protagonist, and in many ways, of the artist as well, with both looking for a more sustainable and connected lifestyle.
The Journey of Sonia’s Trees launches Letizia Lopreiato’s newly designed social documentary series, with Sonia’s Trees (2018-2021), representing the pilot project and starting point. The Journey of Sonia’s Trees expands from the creation and exhibition of the artworks into a performative form of art practice which includes artist talks, giveaways of handmade native seed art-packs, and community engagement activities devoted to promote pluriversal social inclusion, through the introduction by the artist of barrier-free technology such as Swell Form – a type of printing used to create tactile images.
By carrying out socially engaged initiatives through her art practice, Lopreiato aims for the project to serve as a catalyst of change in the conversation about reforestation and eco-sustainability. She also hopes to promote social inclusion and equality through the set up of the show itself and the design of the different community based actions, which together give shape to the imagery of The Journey of Sonia’s Trees, and its multifaceted meanings.
About the artist
Letizia Lopreiato is a multilingual visual poet and film photographer supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, whilst working with 35mm photography, poetry, spoken word, and Super 8 film, to develop her autobiographical and social documentary practice.
Magnum Photos Portfolio Review featured artist (2020), Lopreiato embraced film photography in February 2018, after her visual impairment diagnosis. The artist writes and performs her poetry in English, Italian and Spanish. Her work is published in the UK, Ireland and Italy. Lopreiato is a professional member of Visual Artists Ireland, and her work is part of Ireland’s Office of Public Works State Art Collection.
Current and upcoming solo exhibitions in addition to this exhibition include: Phoenix Art Space, Brighton, UK (April-May 2022) and PhotoIreland Festival 2022 Dublin, Ireland (July-August 2022).
Past exhibitions include: Exposure Alberta Photography Festival 2022 Canada (solo show), PhotoIreland Halftone Print Fair – The Library Project 2021, Dublin Art Book Fair – Temple Bar Gallery + Studios 2021, PhotoIreland Festival Open Program 2021, Exposure Alberta Photography Festival Canada (solo show).
Lopreiato is awardee of the Arts Council Ireland Agility Award, the Visual Arts Research Bursary), and the Connect Award. Lopreiato comes from a Magna Cum Laude research background in International Relations and has over a decade’s international program management experience in the technology industry. Her interest lies in the application of barrier-free technologies for pluriversal social inclusion, access and equality.
Lopreiato’s artistic practice is engaged in reclaiming a different way of storytelling: from empathy to connection, from impairment to empowerment, from grief to love, from confinement to acceptance, social engagement and equality for our environment, both at an individual and community level.
Wednesday: 1 – 6pm
Thursday: 1 – 6pm
Friday: 1 – 6pm
Saturday: 1 – 4pm
**Please note we will only be open 4 – 7pm on Thursday 12 May for the exhibition launch**
Image credit: photograph by Letizia Lopreiato
Image description: black and white film photograph of a woodland scene showing a child stepping over a small stream. On the banks either side of the stream are ferns, rocks and moss. Sunlight beams softly fall through the trees in the background onto the child who has their arms raised above their head as they take an exaggerated step forward. The grainy quality of the photograph makes it feel like a memory or dreamscape.
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