INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST POL Polloniato:
I am an Italian artist. I use various languages and techniques to shape my vision. Since 2008, ceramic has become the medium that I mainly use. I come from a historic family that has been involved in ceramics for two centuries in Nove, a small town in the Veneto region, 1 hour from Venice. My production is diversified and developed through various collaborations and interactions: from unique pieces for galleries and museums, to site specific projects for architects or private clients, up to limited series for brands that aim at the excellence of contemporary craftsmanship. Between 2008 and 2013 I lived in Paris and Brussels. I currently live and work in Nove.
What is your mission?
The mission is to analyze the history of the ceramic tradition in order to create a contemporary reinterpretation. For me, innovating means recovering to evolve. All my production is based on the research and reuse of formal elements of the past, which through my creative process become an integral part of a new sculptural appearance. The themes I work on are very different and change according to the period and place where I live.
How would you define your style?
My style is the spatial and temporal synthesis of many styles. I deal with resuming and merging pieces, shapes, motifs and techniques that come from different eras. My aim is to create a new aesthetic and conceptual balance through a formal historical metamorphosis.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from observation and interaction with the places and social contexts with which I come into contact. The social and landscape transformation of a context greatly affects the evolution of my research.
My main muse is the reality that surrounds me.
I am a careful observer who tries to investigate in contexts in which I relate. The themes that I develop in my works arise from specific disputes in which I find myself living and interacting.
Tell us about the choice of materials and your creative process.
I grew up in a rural social context where an entire community of people has been dedicated to ceramic art for centuries. A very particular place of great industrial productions and artistic excellence. My family has been working with ceramics since the early 1800s. My father was one of the most important ceramic decorators in the history of Nove.
My first instinct during my youth training led me towards artistic directions far from ceramics.
During the period of the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice I dealt with painting, installations and photography. In 2008 I was deeply affected by the serious economic production crisis that the Nove ceramic district was undergoing. I decided to take “the familiar material” in hand. My approach was that of an artist who was critical of a specific social and landscape situation, not as a craftsman who had to produce objects of use.
My starting point was the abandoned places, the rubble and waste that remained in the territory. My territory became my library (material and human) on which to draw and shape my artistic vision. Reuse and transform. Liberalize the ceramic medium towards new possibilities, towards new whys.
What is your favorite project to date and why?
From 2008 to today my artistic production in ceramics has changed often. I have made several series of sculptures that reflect specific themes. Since 2017 I have been working on the PIENI A RENDERE series. A play on words that refers to the opposite condition of returnable voids. Normally in everyday life we are used to making an object empty so that it can be reused for a new filling. In the case of my PIENI A RENDERE it happens that the content appears in all its fullness, itself determining the shape of the container object. A full of rubble and textures of our time. In this way, the sculpture becomes the three-dimensional imprint of time.
The creation you are most proud of?
In 2018 I was invited by the International Ceramic Museum of Faenza to participate in CERAMICS NOW, the 60th edition of the International Ceramic Award. An exhibition of historical importance that brought together 54 artists from all over the world. For this occasion I created a doc installation for the occasion: The Last Supper. An installation consisting of a work table (typical of the ceramic industry) where I placed a complete set of tableware in the 1700s style, made entirely with my PIENI A RENDERE technique. A tribute to the history of my land.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am making a series of neo-classical busts and figures always made with the PIENI A RENDERE style.
Professionally, what is your goal?
In addition to continuing my artistic research work, my goal is to continue the teaching path that I have been undertaking for three years. My aim is to educate and stimulate the new generations to believe in artisanal and artistic manual practices. A mutual give and take that allows me to keep up with the times and at the same time gives me the opportunity to pass on my experience and creative vision. I would like to be able to recreate manual craft schools where to educate and entice the new generations to believe in the return to handmade of other quality.