Interview with Stefania Ormas

Being a woman in its deepest ontological connotation is the leitmotif of Stefania Ormas’ series of portraits. Originally from Apulia, she currently lives in Padua and has exhibited in both group and solo shows in Italy and abroad.

Francesca Della Ventura (FDV): Dear Stefania, you are originally from Apulia, but have been living in Padua, Veneto, for some time. What has been your artistic path and how did you arrive in Padua? What is there of Apulian origins in Stefania’s painting?

Stefania Ormas (SO): I was born and grew up in Apulia, more precisely in Barletta, the city of the great Italian painter of the 19th century, Giuseppe De Nittis, whom I have loved and appreciated since I was a child: I often went to see his masterpieces live with my school friends. I wanted to be a painter since I was a child and I was self-taught for a long time, until I enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts, in the painting course. I arrived in Padua by chance because of my partner’s work. Before that we lived in Florence and I don’t think we’ll be here much longer, even though it’s a beautiful city full of stupendous buildings, but…we miss the sea! What is there of my Apulian origins in what I paint? I think the colours, the lands, the bright colours, the greens.

FDV: As we can see from the works exhibited in the gallery, women are often the protagonists of your works. What is your approach to the female world? What do you refer to in your works?

SO: I often paint women, yes, that’s true. It is a natural choice: sometimes I do it to denounce them, as in the works “Giunone” (exhibited on inWomen.Gallery) or “El violador eres tu!”, or in the series “The Daughters of Fortune”; other times I do it simply because I see a subject I like. I believe that giving a voice to women is a duty for an artist, unfortunately the road to equal opportunities is still long in all fields, and even longer in art.

“Giunone”, Oil on Canvas, 65cmx90cm, 2018 © Stefania Ormas

FDV: You have taken part in several exhibitions both in Italy and abroad – including the Casa de Cultura in Navacerrada (Madrid), the Galeria Bernet (Barcelona), the Falcone/Borsellino airport in Palermo, the Roccartgallery (Florence). Which is the one that has challenged you the most?

SO: Let’s say that I like to put myself to the test and the exhibitions I did together with the Spanish collective “Generando Arte”, for example, were formative, they were all female exhibitions and denounced the social status in which we still find ourselves, so we had the opportunity to confront ourselves with other women on a single topic and with different artistic media.

FDV; As well as being a painter, I have had the opportunity to see various pieces of antique furniture that you have brought back to life. Can you tell us more about this activity?

SO: I’m not a restorer, a couple of months ago – I’m a lover of vintage and modern things -, I found by chance a lady who was selling some vintage children’s toys, they were quite shabby, but I fell in love with them, so I decided to buy them and refurbish them. I like to get involved at 360 degrees, if I have something in mind I always look for a way to make it, whether it’s a piece of furniture to restore or a wall to decorate or a plate to cook on, I believe that you have to express beauty in everything you do.

Sofa entirely hand-restored by Stefania Ormas, 2020, © Stefania Ormas

Francesca Della Ventura
Francesca Della Ventura

Francesca Della Ventura is a journalist, curator and contemporary art critic, as well as founder and director of inWomen.Gallery.