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“An imagined world, that of women, made of desires and expectations […] As in theatre, a painting allows the viewer to imagine so many things, to take on real life within its limitations, and upon reaching those limitations, the viewer enters into the play of fantasy and imagination.”

With a degree in Political Science, Francesca Simonetti also worked for a long time as a theatre organiser, creating theatrical scenes for plays, the style of which remain evident in her works today. She has painted for as long as she can recall but it was only in 2015 that she decided to exhibit her work.

In July of 2015 she had a pair of shows at the gallery Merlino Bottega D’Arte in Florence and then in gallery Beaux Arts in Siena, and in the same year exhibited at a number of spaces closer to her hometown, in Arcidosso.

Working in oils on canvas, her artworks are dreamlike colour bombs depicting women in the throes of pure joy and exhilaration, dancing in light, colour and movement, or self reflective, a moment’s stillness between dynamics – at times they are cumbersome, others times ethereal.

Surreality, abstraction and poetry weave with colour, figure and form, so that each painting gifts the observer a window onto innocent joy and liberation of youth, and the freedom of imagination.

In almost every painting the women seem unaware of the observer, completely taken over by delight or pensiveness of being, a sense of expectation, faces bearing enigma of self reliance and resourcefulness. More than a little wilderness.

We can only take a small peek through that window, however: the entire meaning remains undefined and obscured – intentionally – by the artist.

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*Photographs by Francesca Simonetti.