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Maria Cristina Palandri

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Maria Cristina Palandri was born in Pistoia. After graduating from Pistoia Art School, she attended the Fine Arts Academy in Florence. Her career as a painter began in 1982 with individual and collective exhibitions. Since 1998, she has been working with Pistoia's Education Department to provide art classes for immigrant children. For some years she has coordinated an art workshop at "Il Piccolo Principe", a residential social centre in Pistoia. Her interest in art began with art books - she was fascinated by the Renaissance, by everything from Flemish painting to Surrealism and Pop Art. Surrealism particularly inspired her work and led her to develop an increasingly personal form of expression. In artists such as Pietro Annigoni, Vinicio Berti, Umberto Buscioni, Jorio Vivarelli and sculptress Carla Lavatelli, she found a wealth of material that led her to sculpture. Maria Cristina has also learned the technique of papier-mâché from Francesconi, artist who works on the famous allegorical floats for the Viareggio Festival Foundation. Her interest for form and its potential leads her also to design, where she creates interior design items which are unique pieces, enriched with sculpture, painting and ceramics. A devotee of ceramics, she began producing little terracotta "houses" which she now makes using techniques ranging from double firing to Raku. Cristina Palandri also does illustrations for children's books and has acquired an excellent reputation in this field. "...What Cristina actually does, with her eclectic techniques and use of material, is to offer a kind of inspired synthesis of an artistic language that she has acquired during her long career. Today she is one of the most creative figures on the Pistoia art scene. The refined quality that results can be seen in her paintings: the atmosphere of floating, of lightness and magic perfectly reflect the lyrical nature of her subjects. The "lines of poetry", in image form, gradually materialise, through a myriad of evocative and symbolic presences: the girl (purity), the spiral (cycles and evolution), the shell (periodic regeneration - death and rebirth), the cypress (not death, but a sacred tree of life), the monocycle (symbol of play) and, of course, the house (the internal world, its various floors representing states of mind). All of which floats in the sky, while the various parts wander like cosmic elements, whose destiny is to condense the origin of new life. So Cristina combines poetry and visual arts, to give us a safe anchor and show us the divine breath coming from the beauty of the spirit. Are not poetry and art comfort and consolation for mankind?" Siliano Simoncini, presentation of exhibition in Reutlinger, Germany.