Lichigraphy: In Constant Movement

Lichigraphy: In Constant Movement

Born in Italy but an Ibiza resident for almost 22 years, Annalisa Rinaldi’s stunning artworks are characterised by ink, light, movement and the solidification of emotions. She trained in her homeland and after graduating and a stint travelling around Europe, she started working as a private chef, a job she maintained for over a decade. During that time, she dove into the subject of oriental philosophy and culture, and this too, plays a key role in the subtext of her paintings. Instilled with an innate desire to improvise and dance, she also combines these crafts with her practice, siphoning the energy fired up by movement into the tip of a paintbrush before it materialises on canvas.

While working as a private chef, I was still painting and dancing. Always. I was really busy working with my body studying improvisation and movement. I kept my creative process and painting to myself, late into the night.

I suppose you could say I am a typical introvert artist. I didn’t feel the need to make my art visible to the world for a long time but then at some point I studied art therapy and the teacher became a really good friend of mine. She started pushing me to show my work and I realised she was right, so slowly I began to take it more seriously. Five or six years ago I started to host small exhibitions and to perform my art as well — moving and exhibiting at the same time.

I had never thought about art being my profession so getting to this point has been a beautiful journey. It involved a lot of inner work and ups and downs, and I had to release parts of myself to become confident in what I was doing.

I’m very inspired by oriental philosophies, particularly from Japan and China. I think it’s something about the silence and the minimalism — it makes a lot of sense to me because it can be messy but harmonious at the same time. I think when you connect with that philosophy, you somehow become very clear on what you feel and what you want to project.

The main theme of my work is nature. I bring nature into whatever I’m doing. In Ibiza I live among it and so I observe the colour of the stones and the changing colours of the landscape that comes with the rain. 

For me, there's deep meaning in each of my paintings. They’re aesthetically appealing and attractive but also gentle and mystical. They can sit in a room and every time you look at them you see something you didn’t before. They change daily, like nature itself. You can look out of a window and still find surprises every day and this is what I want to achieve with my painting. I don’t want the pieces to be invasive, I want you to get lost in the frame.

My relationship with my own paintings changes over time, revealing more and more layers of depth. Sometimes there are figures coming out of the painting and they simply want to be seen, and so I follow that thread for a bit, but I have to wait, to see how it feels. It’s a bit like sculpture; you either add something or take it away. My painting is the same. Sometimes I have the figure coming out, and sometimes I have to make it disappear.

For me, painting is very much about  externalising my inner world and personal process. Usually, I start with colours. The study of colours is one of the more prevalent parts of my time in the studio, and one of my favourites; whether it’s a particular set of colours to match the shade of the woods or the earth. 

Private commissions are really interesting projects for me. I’ve developed a structure that works, so clients can look at my collections, choose the material and palette of colours they prefer, and then I go to their homes to see for myself where the painting would hang. 

That way I can see how the light falls, the style of the furniture and how big the space is. I like to understand who they are as people. Channelling their essence sounds a bit spiritual but somehow, that is a part of it.

Oriental philosophy teaches you ways to understand people and their behaviours — who they are, what they need. So for me, it’s very beautiful to deliver that through a painting.

My paintings are active. They create an atmosphere rather than filling an empty space.  I feel my paintings can be used as a feng shui element in a room — they can actively transform the energy.

I always find a flow in my body before painting. Sometimes I do a lot of movement, even very energetic movement. And then I contain this energy that comes organically from the body in motion and I bring it to the canvas. That doesn’t mean I splash around on the canvas, sometimes it’s impulsive and strong and other times it’s delicate. It’s very subtly abstract.

People put a lot of restrictions on themselves but I believe art is for everyone if you give yourself permission. The first step is to somehow allow yourself to open the door.