Interview with Valeria Eva Rossi

A Tuscan architect and designer, after living in France and China, where she exhibited her works in Shanghai and other cities, she currently lives in Turin and Milan. Her designer’s work is expressed at different scales of expression: from interior design to product design and graphic design, where her predilection for geometric shapes is combined with black and white photography of architecture.

Francesca Della Ventura (FDV): Dear Valeria, thank you for taking part in this short interview. Could you tell the readers of inWomen.Gallery about your work as an architect and designer?

Valeria Eva Rossi (VER): I was born in Carrara and graduated in architecture in Florence in 1996, with a thesis on the analysis of deterioration and restoration of white marble, magna cum laude. I gained my professional experience as an architect and designer in Turin, working with major architectural firms. Ten years after graduating and with the wealth of experience gained in architectural firms, I began working as a freelance architect until 2009. I have mainly worked on building projects and interior design for private clients.

My move to France led me to become passionate about design, both for interiors and for furniture and accessories. Back in Turin in 2012, I brought with me the newborn brand Pietraquadra stone jewels: in which the passion for design and marble finds its expression in new jewellery lines.

Architecture has always been my vocation, but in general it is the creative process that interests me, whether it is conceiving a building, an object, an artistic creation. Thus, in 2020, a phase of experimentation and research began, which led me to link my skills as a designer to photography. The artistic project developed from photographs depicting architecture and real places, which at the same time became dreamlike, through a vision deformed by a geometric design. Graphic-photographic works of digital art are born.

EYES_01 Piazza San Carlo, photography and digital graphics, 2020 ©Valeria Eva Rossi

FDV: Tuscan roots, but always travelling. How have your experiences abroad been? What did they teach you and what did they bring to your work as an artist? 

VER: From 2014 to 2016, I lived part of the year in China, participating with my creations in events on Made in Italy, in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing. Travel is always an inexhaustible source of inspiration, even if the creations are 100% Made in Italy and marble has often been the protagonist in my work.

Travelling gives you the opportunity to see different cultures, discover different ways of thinking and planning, taste new and unexpected flavours, listen to incomprehensible and fascinating languages. Everything that is discovery and novelty, for an open and curious mind, is a source of creativity. I believe that the main lesson to be learnt from travelling to distant places is open-mindedness, acceptance of differences and a broader view of reality. I cannot say exactly what travel has brought to my artistic work, but I am sure of its positive influence.

Pietraquadra stone jewels – Marble and passementerie necklaces ©Valeria Eva Rossi

FDV: I can see from your creations that you work mainly with marble. Can you tell us why you chose this material to express yourself and what are your projects in which it is the protagonist?

VER: Marble is an extraordinary material and it is a special love that binds me to marble; it comes from the land where I was born.  In particular, the desire to transform marble into a piece of jewellery is the desire to recognise its special preciousness and make it manifest. This preciousness is linked not only to its market value and high aesthetic potential, but also to an emotional and sensorial value derived from its very nature, which encompasses a very ancient history and is expressed regardless of the scale of the work. This intrinsic potential is enhanced by the more personal relationship that is created with an object that we wear, rather than with any other object. Marble in this new guise is the raw material for a new idea of jewellery, a jewel that is each time a unique object, an object of design and careful craftsmanship.

In addition to the challenge of the small jewel, with marble, I have also tackled the design of larger scale projects, such as marble furniture and accessories. Always with the same passion and respect for the material, trying to avoid waste and to enhance its characteristics.

GEA project for MARMOMAC 2019 ©Valeria Eva Rossi

FDV: One last question. How do you think the concept of sustainability can be applied to the world of the architect-designer? How do you reflect this principle in your work? 

VER: Marble is a natural material and as such is sustainable. Pietraquadra jewellery is made from the ‘waste’ of precious marble, in the sense that waste is the recovery of smaller portions of larger pieces. In order to avoid unnecessary waste of material, I have often designed furniture and/or accessories starting from slabs of marble rather than using blocks.

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.