STUDY 1 - CYBAROQUE BORGHESE
My inspiration for “CYBAROQUE BORGHESE” is a combination of my two passions: my favourite city, the lovely Roma and technology. I was brought up watching old movies like “Roman Holiday” staring Audrey Hepburn and “Cleopatra” with the imitable Elizabeth Taylor. I was also lucky to get one of the first ever home computers, the ZX81 in the 80’s, so I have always been a gamer.
As soon as I could travel as an adult, I made my way to Rome. I was enthralled with the concept of modern Italians living and working in the beautiful ruins of this majestic empire. I wandered its cobbled streets, taking photographs and sketching in the tiny cafes, finding inspiration everywhere. But nothing prepared me for the magnitude of Villa Borghese. The combination of the voluptuous Baroque Gardens with the statuesque Villa sitting at the end of the Valley of Trees moved me irrevocably. However, the beauty of this Baroque composition is merely an introduction to the art that it houses. Once I had witnessed Bernini’s exquisite sculpture and Canova’s rendering of the marble perfection of Princess Borghese, I was changed forever. Villa Borghese had delivered the Roman vision of romance and beauty that I had dreamed of as a little girl.
Once I delved into its history and the story of Napoleon’s sister, Paolina Borghese, I always knew that it would be the inspiration for an artwork one day. I am delighted that I was able to use my love of technology and storytelling to imagine a time in the future, when a woman such as my younger self also discovers Villa Borghese. But this time, I imagined it preserved forever in the metaverse as a glitching AI quantum programme, downloaded and experienced anywhere in the world. I imagined the ancient Roman “plane trees” as glitching trees of code. I created a “neon wire frame” computer network that rendered Italian arias as the Cybaroque Borghese programme was experienced in the metaverse. I used my iPad to draw some of these ideas out – all digital but rendered very similar to traditional sketches. I explored the idea of a graffiti backdrop to add a bit of future dystopia. Once I had worked on each layer both using analogue and digital work, I built up those layers through animation and digital programming. This artistic rendering of an actual place and personal experience through technology is what gives this artwork soul.
It comes full circle.