Betty Zola

Betty Zola was born in Biella in April 1971. After attending compulsory schooling, she starts working. Her first job was in a clothing manufacture factory where the material got divided. There were many tailoring factories in this area. She immediately felt a strong attraction towards the contact with the fabrics. It’s exactly in 2020 – when she bought a book on art and techniques related to papier‐mâché – that she gets the spark!

For her, paper is an authentic revelation. As time passes by, without even realizing it, she finds herself with a huge collection at home: wrapping paper, office paper, carbon paper, brand‐new and secondhand paper are the turning point which leads the young creative woman to experimentation. “I used to collect every type of paper, but had no idea of what to do with it. I simply used to collect it. For what concerns paper, I love every part of it: the smell of it is the aspect I like most, but touching and looking at it gives me a lot of pleasure. I used to look for paper in antiques markets”. As a matter of fact, her choice goes beyond aesthetics: the tactile effect (soft, rough or silky) – combined with the smell of decay– create a fascinating game of senses which is able to project the observer in dreamy spots in the world. Zola has been working with paper treating it with different techniques as she uses different kinds of glue to make each surface differently receptive. In her feverish experimentation, she has also used rusty iron, old pieces of wood, fabrics and other materials along with paper.

The artist, absorbed by the ancient magic of her native hills in Biella, gathers objects trouvés in her home‐studio of which she can’t accept their having been discarded. With paper – her favourite item – bandages, silk, chains, twisted wire, splintered wood – time‐consumed objects – she builds small theatres, scenographies in boxes, scenes of her own personal visions and small booklets as refound manuscripts.

Approaching her enchanted room is like entering in a microcosm, a sort of return trip to the fantastic world of when one is a child where…everything is possible.