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Reciprocus by Virginia Ryan and image-makers from ‘Make Art Not Walls/Italia’

As part of the Art of Migration two exhibitions will run concurrently:

‘Reciprocus’ Mixed media works on paper by Virginia Ryan and participant image-makers from ‘Make Art Not Walls/Italia’.

 ‘Phantome’ Photographic Essay from the migrant centre in Trevi, Umbria by Matteo Fiorucci 2016/2017


Reciprocus is a recent, on-going collaborative art work between artist/Edinburgh-trained art therapist Virginia Ryan and resident asylum-seekers living in Trevi, Italy.

These young men from West Africa are also participant image-makers in the Make Art Not Walls/ Italia project founded in late 2016. Most of the members who frequent the voluntary open studio have been attending from a period up to one year; the most recent arrived two months ago.

Conceived and initiated by the artist in August 2017, Reciprocus layers Italian newsprint and partially ‘whited-out’ local stories from the central Italian newspaper ‘Corriere dell’Umbria’ with subsequent interacting hand-painted images responding to the news/text . Worlds collide, interact and juxtapose in this set of twenty-five mixed-media works on paper and card.

The series presents a universe in which intersections of figures, patterning, hand-written testimonies and Italian newspaper type suggests individual and collective ‘what-if’ imaginings, whilst recording memories of the journey across the Sahara and the Mediterranean.

The process of interaction with local news, discussions in the workshop and re-actions with paint and pencil mirror or suggest moments of integration within the wider community.

Included in this collaboration with Virginia Ryan are interventions by Raphael Benjamin (Nigeria) Alex Johnson (Nigeria) Abubacar Diallo (Guinea) Jacob Camara (Guinea-Conakry) Omogoigui Felix (Nigeria) Blessing Osaigei (Nigeria) and others.

Displayed in the exhibition will also be one collaborative artists’ livre d’artiste (Ryan/Johnson) and a singular paper scroll based on the human footprint by Virginia Ryan entitled ‘Ariel’.



  • Organizzato da: Italian Cultural Institute