Q&A with Kalpa Art Living in Volterra, Tuscany

Kalpa Art Living is a philosophical concept of art located in the inspiring centre of the city of Volterra and in the breathtaking art retreat of Borgo Pignano, Italy. These galleries beautifully embrace wabi-sabi‘s spirit where nature, culture and intellect breathe together. We had the chance to talk with Kalpa Living’s creator, the multidisciplinary artist Olga Niescier, and get to know a little more about her beautiful project.

Through Objects: How and when did you get the idea of creating Kalpa?Olga Niescier: KALPA was born at the beginning of 2019, as a sum of my multiple experiences in art, research, and design. It expresses a personal vision and a desire for artful life through harmony between aesthetics and ethics, a profound connection between humans and nature. The starting point are our art galleries in Tuscany, but our projects are more complex and holistic embracing the idea of ART LIVING. We provide art research and consultancy, be-spoke art & craft creations, interior design for private homes as well as institutional and commercial spaces, artistic direction for various cultural and lifestyle projects.

Through Objects: Could you tell us a little more about Kalpa’s philosophy? Olga Niescier: KALPA is a Sanskrit word meaning the period of time between the creation and recreation of a world or universe. On a cosmic scale, it relates to the never-ending cycle of life in Nature and our belonging in it. We want to create and promote a spiritually conscious lifestyle where nature, culture, and intellect breathe together to become an aesthetic transcending the sum of its parts.

In our two galleries, where we constantly renew the exhibitions, you can choose from various artworks for your home and living. The art we present is harmoniously and thoughtfully selected, a fusion of the sophistication of the high arts, the intuitive passion of the craftsman, and the keen eye of the designer. We balance elegance and simplicity, contemporaneity and the past, the Occident and the Orient in an all-embracing wabi-sabi sensibility. All of this in the midst of Tuscany’s beauty, in the magnificent center of the ancient Etruscan city of Volterra and in the refined countryside resort of Borgo Pignano. The context, the landscape, and the architecture are an integral part of our project.

Through Objects: Are there any special pieces from the collection that you want to highlight? Olga Niescier: We love all the art we show, that is why we do it! All our artworks express the observation, contemplation, and exploration of the living world and each artist expresses this feeling and bond in their own, unique way. There are a variety of techniques in our exhibitions.

The mission is to find a meaningful and complementary dialogue between different artists and their artworks as well as the surrounding interiors so that the galleries and exhibitions are not perceived only through the single pieces but as a coherent environment of arts.

Through Objects: How do you select the artworks exhibited at the gallery? Olga Niescier: Instinctively and restlessly we look all over the world for the artists that resonate with our philosophy. We look for beautiful forms, precious techniques, and outstanding skills, as we believe that the conceptual and decorative function of art can enhance each other and provide art to be part of our everyday life. We offer our collectors pieces to invest in: timeless beauty and masterful execution.

KALPA artists explore the mystery of existence through semiotic and formal studies of life forms and phenomena; biological, emotional and spiritual connections between plant, animal and human. Often the artistic creative process is itself a natural, organic unfolding of life, promoting techniques, materials and processes provided by nature.

Through Objects: What’s so special about the city of Volterra and its surroundings? Olga Niescier: Volterra is a spellbinding ancient town, dating back to Etruscan, Roman and medieval times, it represents the perfect setting to express the connection between past and present. The noble silhouette of Volterra’s old town emerges out of the breathtaking hills and overlooks the long ago kingdom of Etruria. The endless vistas of the sea of hills continue all the way to the real Tyrrhenian Sea and on a clear day, you can see the sun setting behind the distant outline of Corsica. The town itself is rich in its long history, with elegant and time-worn architecture, museums full of the vital inspiring past, these places born centuries ago creating a scenic backdrop to its everyday life. It is a romantic labyrinth of lovely small streets for quiet strolling, majestic piazzas for warming and basking in the sun with cafes, restaurants, and artisan shops for ample enjoyment on slow Tuscan days. Volterra is a place of authentic beauty where civilization is rooted in its history and all sit in harmony with the surrounding nature.

KALPA is located in the historical center in Palazzo Bonomini on Via Porta all’Arco. This sophisticated, mysterious building dates back to medieval and renaissance times and over the ages, it has been the home to several religious and charitable institutions. Today it is a project “in progress” giving space to various arts in its time-hallowed rooms. The restoration of the two floors dedicated to art exhibitions began in the spring of 2019 and it will take a number of years to unveil the spaces step by step.

Kalpa Art Living galleries and interiors are created by a multidisciplinary artist Olga Niescier, painter, designer, curator and researcher.

Photography: Kalpa Art Living | Words: Rita Trindade and Olga Niescier.