4 July 2019

Paper Engineer: Annalisa Metus is one of a kind in Friuli Venezia Giulia

Special artisans in the heart of Trieste

“How does Annalisa make a living with Art Attack?”

It all started with my interest in discovering everything I could about the work of Annalisa Metus, class of 1978, with a great passion for colored cardboard. I had been keeping an eye on her for a while now!

Her name kept popping up during cultural events; she was mentioned as a cardboard artwork artist, so I always wondered what her work was all about. I imagined a female character from Art Attack: someone who was dedicated to creating art and activities for children with scissors and glue.

And then I finally met her! A few months ago, for “Botteghe Aperte” (open workshops) - an event that is held in Trieste a couple of times a year in which local artisans from the area of Cavana (the old part of town) keep their workshops open to the public – for the first time I set foot in Annalisa’s small lab in via del Capitelli 6.

All I needed was 15 minutes in there for me to be thoroughly impressed by the story of one of her creations! On such occasion she managed to express how wonderful her work is, and I couldn’t wait to start a new collaboration with her. This all happened in barely 15 minutes J

Today I want to share this story and explain who Annalisa is.

The “technical” name is Paper Engineer, which stands for all the stages that go into her work: imagining, planning, prototypes and the creation of the cardboard artwork, which can be very small (like small cards or booklets) o very big (theatre scenography or art installations, for example).

Everything she makes is creative and new, simple pieces of paper that tell a story for children but even for adults! Artwork which is so beautiful and complex that I couldn’t simply take a few photographs of it. It wouldn’t have done it justice, so I asked Damiano Tommasi for some help (he creates videos) so that you could see exactly what I’m talking about!

After all, Annalisa’s work isn’t simply cutting and pasting.  Her passion for art is strong and inclined towards music for children; a talent which makes her unique… probably nobody else does anything similar in the region.

“I studied architecture and I have two music school diplomas – she tells me – lyrical music and music and new technologies, with a special focus on audio and video production.  Architecture taught me how to design, to develop an intuition and turn it into artwork, while music taught me to develop the performance part: I don’t use my work to hide but to step onto the stage with. The pop-up books you find in bookstores have an added performance part to them that brings them to life”

I think it’s special how, starting with a story, Annalisa can design and tell it through simple paper. The nicest part of this artwork is that our individual experience will be different for each of us, observing it with different eyes and different imagination will give us each something different.

“Children always see something different from adults” she says.

I’m sure that as soon as you’ll meet Annalisa Metus and her cardboards you’ll also be captured by her creativity! You could meet her and ask her to create a personalized card for some special occasion!A pop-up book, an art installation to decorate your home… or even to take part in one of her classes. Her classes aren’t only for children, also for older people J

A surprise in a surprise.

A special thanks to Botteghe Aperte for introducing me to such an interesting reality right here in Trieste, and thanks to Annalisa for taking us in a fairytale walk through a story which becomes reality, with rough cardboards and the soft thoughts from our creativity.

What a wonderful place!

Video and foto Damiano Tommasi

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