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The colors of the mountains and the Veneto school of glass, in the art of Loria Orsato

Loria Orsato has found her inspiration immersed in a fairy-tale landscape, rich in woods and stones of all kinds, and surrounded by Art Nouveau buildings. So the artist, originally from Recoaro Terme (Vicenza), creates colors with the natural elements of her territory and paints stained glass windows, in addition to producing paintings and design objects. “I like to invent colors,” explains Loria, “I can remember the period when I painted a glass by looking at the shades I created, which are always different.” To paint on glass as Loria Orsato does, one must draw a design on paper and then make a pass with lead, which fixes the outlines in relief, and finally color the images. The colors are usually enamels, opaque or transparent, if you want the light to pass through. But Loria is not satisfied with traditional powders or colored pastes; she creates ever-changing colors using what her beautiful land makes available. For example, the stream that comes down from Mount Rotolon: “With the heaviest rains, the stream turns reddish, because the water fills with earth,” says the artist. “I collect this mixture, bake it and mix it with an aggregate until I get a unique shade of red.”

Among the many great painters she loves (Edward Münch, Romero Britto, Gustav Klimt, René Magritte, Salvador Dali, Joan Mirò, Paul Gauguin, Katsushika Hokusai), Loria Orsato favors Vincent Van Gogh: “He used unique hues of blue, yellow,” she explains. “And then I love his majestic landscapes and portraits, his use of color, blends and strokes. In Amsterdam, I literally sat on the floor of the museum to admire the seasons portrayed in his work.”  For some time now (thanks to the heaviness and poor transportability of the glass support) Loria has increased her production on canvas. In 2021, she was among the artists who participated in a traveling exhibition dedicated to Dante Alighieri, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 700th anniversary of the death of the Supreme Poet. For the occasion, the artist painted a picture depicting Dante. Loria tells us: “It’s not a typical portrait, which I don’t like: behind the poet’s head the Divine Comedy is represented through esoteric elements”. In fact, one of Loria Orsato’s most vivid interests is in the transcendent and esoteric disciplines. “I’ve always wondered what we’re doing here,” says the artist. “During the lockdown I deepened my knowledge, I looked for answers to the situation we were living. And the answers came, so much so that they inspired me even in the production of the paintings.” During that time, Loria Orsato created “The game is over,” a canvas littered with colored masks concealing a shadow, representing the many unanswered questions related to the pandemic period. 

Loria Orsato is also a teacher in elementary school, where, for several years, she has been working with children with special needs through Art Therapy and Dance Therapy. Loria says: “Children have different personalities and need to develop their different talents. Sometimes I clash with the reality of a school that, following some European models, tends to homogenize and depersonalize education”. So, Loria makes herself available to her students and also to other children by creating moments of aggregation related to art and dance. As in 2015, when, inspired by the method of the Argentine dancer Maria Fux, she invented a new form of dance therapy called Hands that Dance. Or when, following the death of her father in 2012, he created Tullì (Tu sei tutto lì), a sort of character, a figure in blue and yellow that represents the contradictory essence of each of us. This is how Loria talks about it: “It’s our conscious part and our unconscious, what we want to show to others and what we want to hide, the masks we wear in every occasion and in every different place”. This evocative image is a great success even with children, so much so that Loria Orsato thought of a possible decoration for environments where good humor could be brought, for example in children’s hospitals. The artist’s most important objective, however, concerns the world around us and the search for a lost harmony, overwhelmed by the frenetic rhythms and depersonalization of man. “My dream would be to build, with other people, the Villages of Tullì, where to return to an economy and a way of life closer to the essential needs of the human being,” concludes the artist.