Beautifully expressive, AnnaLeaClelia Tunesi’s ceramics offer a calming meditation on artifacts, rupture, and dishevelment.
AnnaLeaClelia Tunesi (b. 1964) is an Italian ceramic artist based in London. She studied set design for theatre at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, and worked as an art director in television production for eighteen years, between 1987 and 2005. In 2007, she returned to her studies, completing an MA in the History and Business of Collecting Art at IESA, Paris and Warwick University, UK, and obtained her Ph.D. in Museology from the University of Leeds in 2014. She had been working in ceramics throughout these years and began to formalize her practice by beginning evening classes with potter Sarah Walton in Sussex in 2000. While undertaking her MA, she completed a three-month internship at the Stefano Bardini Museum in Florence, where the fragments collection from antiquity to Renaissance art, and the eclectic nineteenth-century taste of the art dealer, had a strong influence on her research surrounding shapes and their unfinished aspect. This led to an increased passion for ceramics, and in the last few years, she has decided to dedicate herself full-time to the production of her pieces. Following a year of further study in ceramics at the studio of Kerry Hastings at the Cockpit Centre in Holborn, she joined Turning Earth Studio in London in 2014 and has been based there ever since.
Tunesi’s work is jointly inspired by Freudian psychoanalysis and the roots of plants. The sense of pain, and the link to earth and nature are her main sources of inspiration. When working, she sketches shapes in a notebook, leaves it on her desk for a few days, and in the studio tries to recreate what she had previously drawn. As a result, the memory of the drawing is blurred, and new shapes emerge from the shadow of the previous ones, surfacing through the working of the clay. The resulting ceramics are wonderfully expressive, and seem to offer meditations on age, rupture, and dishevelment. Glazed in blues, whites, and copper, they feature calming palettes and range from ornamental vases and bowls to more abstract sculptures. The forms themselves often seem to still be in a state of growth, development, or transition, and in these respects, draw attention to the manner in which they were executed. Melting Pot presents an artistically expressive vase, both shaped and glazed to appear as a work in progress, or as an artifact from a time when the technology for its production was still being fine-tuned. Her Dishevelled sculpture, meanwhile, is inspired by the wind and the view from Mount Vesuvius to Naples, and, with its dramatically careening and folding surfaces, is clearly evocative of atmosphere and landscape. The Venus fruit bowl is similarly inspired by nature. Derived in form from a shell, it is made of black volcanic clay and glazed in nuances of blue, grey, and white. It features little holes and scratches, emulating the millions of years that shaped shells in the sea.
Tunesi’s work has been photographed by London-based fine art photographer Althea Wilson, and was exhibited in March 2018 at the Barbican Centre, London, at an event coordinated by Turning Earth. She will also participate in Handmade in Britain at Kew Gardens and at Handmade Chelsea in Autumn 2018.