Studio conversation with Lorenzo Robertson

I graduated two years ago, in lockdown, and I didn’t have a degree show, which was very frustrating. And I didn’t have a graduation ceremony either. Then I started working here, and soon after I got the Youth Bursary, which is a sort of residency.

So, you are just starting out?

Yeah, yeah. I’m finding my voice. Mine is part nature and part Italian. I don’t know, if trees could talk, I would talk their language, but it would also be Italian. They’d gesticulate in the wind, maybe, as Italians. So that’s my voice, I think.

That’s what this residency project is about. For the final show of the residency here I made this piece about the connection between two bodies. The concepts behind it were to do with my relationship with my partner, while also an inner connection between two cultures. The connecting hand gesture looks like Italian speakers’ gestures. This connection between two bodies is how I think a lot of people feel. And how I’ve felt sometimes about being somewhere but not being there also.  Having this version of you inside that you can communicate with, but that’s maybe hidden to other people or can’t be seen by other people.

It’s important to be Italian here, and not as important to be…

To be Italian in Italy? Well, exactly. That’s another thing that I’m beginning to get my head around. Here I’m Italian while in Italy I’m British.

Do you have a favourite material to work with? 

Although my favourite material is wood, I make a lot of costumes and masks. Work which is much more difficult to make only out of wood, because this can be quite heavy, so it’s often wood and twigs and leaves, as well as other things like cardboard and other bits of recycled material.

My next big plan is to go to Peru for a residency and research trip. My plan for this residency is to go and see several festivals that happen in Peru over the summer that involve costumes and masks. They are an interesting blend of Christian, Indigenous and Inca traditions of Peru. I’m also very interested in a new scene in South American music which blends electronic music with Cumbia and field recordings from the jungle and mountains.

Studio holder conversation with Lorenzo Robertson

More about his work, here