Hello Again, Healing Art

By Jo Phillips

Grove Square Galleries presents “Hello Again”, a solo show by Crystal Fischetti , read more here in Hello Again, healing Art.

Image Crystal Fischetti, Holy of Holies. Love with a Lover, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Grove Square Galleries. 

“Hello again!” (11 February – 9 April 2021) is a welcoming of 2021 and a celebration of new self. The exhibition features 36 new works, a visual diary symbolic of artist Crystal Fischetti’s 36 years of age. Reflecting her deep search for life, magic and truth, the works – mixing painting and fabrics – radiate energy, light, and movement. Created through a process of staining, soaking and dripping through and onto fabrics, Fischetti’s work is gestural and multi-layered, combining her spiritual influences as a Shaman. Her practices include kundalini, tarot reading and yoga, and these are woven into the self-enlightening qualities of her work and methods.

Of dual heritage, the offspring of an Italian Jewish father and Columbian mother, artist Crystal Fischetti’s childhood was spent living between London and Rome. Crystal trained as a professional dancer and performed professionally until her teens while attending a wacky independent London school where transcendental meditation and daily yoga was practiced alongside Latin and Ancient Greek. 

Crystal Fischetti, Bliss With You, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Grove Square Galleries

After graduating with a degree in Fine Art from Leeds University and an MA from Chelsea College of Art, Crystal made her solo show debut in New York, before moving to LA, where she would take to the streets, interacting with the public as she painted. 

During her seven years living in the City of Angels, she made art, painted murals and saw much of Hollywood’s glitz. Then Covid struck. She decided to leave the US for Mexico the day before America closed its borders and remained there until she returned to London in the Autumn. Once she returned to British soil, Grove Square Gallery gallery found her and wanted to represent her in a solo show, which cast a silver lining over 2020. “I’m so thrilled to be taken on by a gallery who really sees me and the work,” Fischetti exclaims. 

Defined by her intrigue and place within the mystical, Fischetti is a healer as well as an artist. These two arguably intuitive and ultimately – in her case – entwined practices represent the connection to humanity as a cosmic whole. Fluent in four languages, thanks to her Italian father and Columbian mother, in addition to making art, she teaches it as therapy to students all over the world via one-to-one tuition and as well as subscription-based workshop and tutorial service. She calls this her ancestral responsibility, which is secondary to her painting. “It is my duty to be a light shower. It’s important that a shaman performs their healing work as a second job, not the first”, she explains. 

Crystal Fischetti, No Ordinary Reality, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Grove Square Galleries

In her practice of abstract painting to performance art, she follows in the path of other female troubadours such as Judy Chicago, Hilma af Klint and Marina Abramovic who have explored ideas of ritual and mysticism in their art. During her lifetime (1862–1944), Hilma af Klint alleged to have communicated with spirits through séances and claimed that she was sometimes controlled by spirits. Carl Jung put forth the idea that “Art Therapy” can be used as a tool to treat anxiety, trauma and fear and Fischetti has fully integrated this concept into her lifestyle and practice. 

What these pioneers and practitioners share, broadly speaking, is an interest in ritualistic, folkloric practices and it is this bridge that forms the common thread in Fischetti’s life, work and ancestral background. 

As the descendent of a long line of shamanic ancestors dating back 500 years on her mother’s side, Fischetti explains that healing is part of her DNA but it wasn’t immediately apparent of how to take this out of the context of her own painting. Her grandmother was a fully indigenous shaman who spoke in Quecha, the surviving language of the Inca empire. Her mother too is clairvoyant, “she will not thank me for saying this”, she says. 

Crystal Fischetti, To Be Home, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and Grove Square Galleries

In February until the end of March 2021, the Fitzrovia gallery will present her solo exhibition. Entitled “Hello again”, the show will feature three dozen new paintings. Symbolic of Fischetti’s 36 years, each work is a visual journal of the entire year. She’s excited about transforming the white cube into an immersive colour scape with canvasses on the walls and hanging loosely and colourfully from structures. The works have been created through a process of staining, soaking and dripping onto and through fabrics as gestural and multi-layered, representing visible and invisible narratives. 

The finished pieces will be presented as an immersive canopy aimed at blurring the boundaries between nature and civilisation, culture and environment. Inspired by some of her insights from “beyond the veil”, she says that she wants to draw people in to engage with the work. “Paintings that aren’t in frames bring in community,” she notes.

All artworks are created from Fischetti’s own bedsheets, each one painted on on layers so that liquids soak into another canvas, keeping toxic waste to a minimum. She makes paint from her own botanical dyes and is currently drying flowers in her kitchen so she can turn them into paint. 

As for the current global situation, she acknowledges that historically, it will be an interesting year to look back on. “Well, you either make lemons from lemonade or leave them on the floor,” she acknowledges.

As visitors are currently only able to visit digitally, the exhibition will be virtual as well as physical and will run until 9 April grovesquaregalleries.com

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