Ilaria Antolini (b.1993) is an Italian multidisciplinary artist living and working in London. Her practice combines working on artistic briefs for magazines and galleries with commercial briefs with brands, art directors and designers. She received a BA in Interior Design from the Polytechnic of Milan in 2015 and a MA in Communication Design: Illustration from Kingston University, London in 2017. After her studies, Ilaria has been working and collaborating with the fashion, art and event industries. Since her proper debut as an artist and designer in 2017 she has worked for fashion companies like Beulah London, she has been shortlisted for the FIDA Awards in 2020, she brought her expertise as a lecturer in ‘Illustrating Fashion’, a course at the prestigious House of Illustration. In 2021 Ilaria collaborated as an art director with the theatre company ‘El Gavetin’ and she launched her jewellery collection in collaboration with the sustainable brand Lunar James. On top of this, Ilaria worked as the Lead Designer of the Racing League, a modern horseracing competition and event broadcasted on Sky Sports and in 2022 she started a new role as the Lead Designer of Unit London gallery and NFT platform. In her artistic practice, Ilaria is best known for her mixed media collages that investigate the relationship between the human body and clothing and fashion as a form of non-verbal communication and 2022 sees Ilaria represented by Cluster London and Loca Art.
Ilaria has exhibited internationally, selected group shows include Pandemonium and Order, OXO Tower, London, UK (2022); International Women’s Month, Adidas Oxford Circus, London, UK (2022); William Morris: Wallpaper Man, William Morris Society, London, UK (2021); Decay, Arch Hanoi, Vietnam (2021); Idiom Home Show, London Design Week, London, UK (2019); Metamorphosis, Ugly Duck, London, UK (2019); Storybox: Tales of Absence, ‘What ifs’ and Salvation, Wilton’s Music Hall, London, UK (2017) and Caves, Antonia Jannone’s Gallery, Milan, IT (2013). Her work has been also featured in multiple publications and major tv channels including BBC News, Sky Sports, At The Races, Talksport, The Sun, and The Times.
From when I started my career as a collage artist I have been drawn to both, the human form as a fashion figure with its external likeness and the body as a shell for our deepest self and soul. My artworks aspire to combine these two opposite poles of human nature identifying the relationship between what’s inside us and how we communicate it through our outward appearance. I am interested in the value of clothing as an identification tool, as a medium or channel for self-expression. So, in my practice, I depict clothing as a second skin, as an enigmatic layer between the self and the not-self. I believe that how we decide to present ourselves on the outside is not only a way to state our identity but also a tool that can change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.
Wading through my work, you must look through multiple layers, double meanings and symbols. My process combines pieces of magazines and textiles with painted details and blank spaces to create hybrid figures. The layers of material I glue together bring his own history that adds depth to the image. I like to proceed with a natural and instinctive approach that allows me to combine visually evocative elements to create engaging and thought-provoking images that hide a deeper meaning that waits to be uncovered.