Hi Elena ! How are you feeling today and why?

Today I woke up on a typical Italian sultry hot summer day. I was clever enough to push my body out of bed for an early run into the shady woods. Running brings me always to a mindset where I am able to clarify my ideas and at the same time allows me to take the time needed to plan head my schedule or reflect on where and how to approach the nearest future. At this very moment I feel very calm and glad of where I am and who I am with, even though my body is literally melting.

Where do you put a lot of time and energy in?

I invest a lot of time and care to nurture relationship and create significant engagements with the communities that surrounds me. For a brief period of time after graduating I felt the difficulty on the transition to one community to another. I had the urgency of feeling accepted, of belonging to something in order to be a designer, an artist. A community, a space, a practice.. it took quite
some time and a bunch of beautiful inspiring people to realise that I am not alone and that my contribution is meaningful within the community I created over the years during my studies in Amsterdam. Investing time in what I already have rather on thinking how it could be or should be has been definitely a life changer. 

What is the intention behind your project STUDIO BONOMIA and/or your artistic practice?

I am devoted to unleashed the meanings of conviviality. Whether is hidden behind a traditional kitchen tool, an Italian proverb or a recipe my wish is to give a different and more inclusive interpretation of them in order to establish a significant open encounter with people..

How does your awareness for and relationship to the environment (human/non–human) influence your artistic practice?

I am currently questioning what’s the purpose of thinking, creating and bringing to life new objects. I found myself somewhere at the point between being very inspired and willing to produce more while having to realised that as a designer and artist I feel the urgency of being more mindful about the environment that surrounds me, whether is the city or the mountain landscape, human or non–human. All of a sudden I am no longer developing pieces or ideas and searching for a specific new material but quite the contrary, given what I have and what are the resources I am able to find in my proximity I develop my projects accordingly. I am constantly being told that it is a challenge but for me this is the only way of being and fulfilling my artistic practise from now on.

KIKU KIKU aims to rethink the ways of how energy can be exchanged. What other forms of exchange of energy than physical trades have you been exploring within your practice and in what other possible forms are you interested in for the future?

Wherever I cook or eat is effective the law in which who takes care of the preparation of the food won’t take part of the cleaning process. Cleaning is done by who else joins the meal. By doing that the cycle of exchanged energy closed itself, like the convivial moment of sharing a meal from the gathering together, consuming food together and leaving the encounter more grateful and enriched than before. I would like to apply this cycle in real life and in the projects I am working on by being more aware of the circulation of energy of the people involved and successively being more conscious of how and what
kind of energies can be useful for the fulfilment of a healthy engagement.

KIKU means to listen in Japanese and we would like to invite a
playful approach and continuing research to anticipate each other's needs. What do you believe helps you to carefully listen and pay attention in your relationships?

I noticed that the less time off (from working, socialising, doing) I have for myself the more effort it takes to listen and nurture my relationships. Therefore I believe that by allowing myself to just being ables me to re-balance and re-connect with my inner self and therefore makes me become more conscious and attentive towards my relationships.

What are your hopes for your practice/project for the future?

My hope is to never lose the curiosity towards the investigation of conviviality and be able to find the balance between the cyclic path of creating and consuming in my art and design practice.

You will find the (cooking) aprons handmade by Elena Braida for her project STUIDO BONOMIA in our webshop. 

Photographs by  Francesca Lucchitta and Elena Braida !

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