Talk with Flavia Marcello and Meet the Artists Panel Discussion

When: Thursday 25 February 2021, 6.30-8PM

Where: CO.AS.IT., 199 Faraday St, Carlton, VIC 3053

Free event.

Booking essential below.

COVID-safe event. Bring your own mask

In this talk Associate Professor Flavia Marcello will give a brief history of Italian design starting with its ‘birth’ at the Milan Triennale, illustrating how it reinvented itself in the post WW2 economic boom and how it has left a legacy today on both the world of design and in our everyday lives. The talk will be followed by a facilitated ‘Meet the Artists’ panel discussion where the public will be invited to engage in an informal conversation with the artists exhibiting in Parallel Visions – Liliana Barbieri, Anna Caione, Sarina Lirosi and Wilma Tabacco – about their artistic process and their inspiration.

Event associated with the exhibition PARALLEL VISIONS. Contemporary Interpretations of Italian Design through Art and Virtual Reality on view at CO.AS.IT. until 6 March 2021.

Italian design is famous throughout the world for its quirky, avant-garde ideas. Gaetano Pesce, Bruno Munari, Giuseppe Pagano, Gio Pomodoro and Alessandro Mendini are all big names in design history – but history does not just live in the past: it can continue to shape the future. In the Parallel Visions exhibition artists Liliana Barbieri, Anna Caione, Sarina Lirosi and Wilma Tabacco work alongside Karen Fermo and Flavia Marcello to present contemporary re-interpretations of Italian design through visual art, display systems and virtual reality.

The exhibition was originally part of Melbourne Design Week 2020, an initiative of the Victorian Government in collaboration with the NGV.


Flavia MARCELLO is Associate Professor of architectural history at the School of Design and member of the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology. She is a world expert on the art, architecture and design of the Italian Fascist and post-war periods. She teaches architectural design, history and theory with a particular focus on global and social themes. She has published articles in Modern Italy, Rethinking Histories and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. She leads a research team of virtual heritage and user-experience experts who partner with VR artists to recreate embodied experiences of past exhibitions and temporary pavilions. Her monograph on Italian-Istrian architect Giuseppe Pagano-Pogatschnig is due out with Intellect Press in 2020.

Liliana BARBIERI was born in central Italy and now lives and works in Melbourne. Internationally focused and committed to intercultural exchange, her projects are multidisciplinary, utilizing a hybrid of new media and traditional art materials. Since completing a Master of Fine Arts (Research) in 2001, she has lectured in design theory and visual culture at various universities in Australia and Asia. Exhibiting regularly in Australia and overseas, her work is featured in museums, corporate collections and commercial galleries across the globe, including the Australian Consulate General in Guangzhou, China, Lorenzo Benetton Imago-Mundi Collection, Italy, Accor Hotels Melbourne, and Sangmyung University, South Korea. In 2017 her work featured in Stellar Living as an ‘Object of Desire’, in the Palazzo Lavazza Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the Sydney Morning Herald, “BelleMagazineAu” and The Age Good Weekend Guide. Grants and awards include Arts Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria Trustees Award, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Arts Grant, and Australian Postgraduate Research Award. With over 18 solo shows and 60 group exhibitions, Liliana’s work has received extensive media coverage in Australian and Asian art journals, RAI International and SBS radio.

Anna CAIONE is an Australian artist of Italian descent. She holds a Master of Arts by Research from Monash University (2002), a Bachelor of Education in Visual Arts from Melbourne University (1991), a Bachelor of Fine Art from RMIT (1994) and has completed a Diploma of Fine Arts at the Accademia Albertina, Turin, Italy (1995). She is currently an Academic Tutor in Design History in the School of Design at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Anna has held numerous solo and group exhibitions and participated in 30 exhibitions. She has received a number of grants and awards, including an Arts Victoria Travelling Grant, and her work is held in corporate and private collections in Australia, Italy and Ireland. Anna was a finalist in the John Leslie Art Prize, the Metro 5 Gallery Art Award, and the McGivern Prize (twice), and was awarded the SBS Centenary of Federation Art Award. In 2018 she received the Italian Australian Foundation International Fellowship from the International Specialised Skills Institute to study Drawing in Milan, Italy. Anna’s work has received coverage in Australian art journals, periodicals, newspapers and catalogue essays.

Sarina LIROSI has extensive exhibiting experience spanning over 20 years and has been the recipient of numerous grants including a work development grant from the Australia Council. Sarina has had ten solo exhibitions and has been a finalist in many national award exhibitions in Australia, including the Hutchins Art Prize, Hobart and National Works on Paper at Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. Sarina has also participated in many group and curated exhibitions including Celebrating the Exquisite Corpse, at the Bendigo Art Gallery; Fictions at the Gippsland Centre for Art & Design presented by Monash University Museum of Art; and Lost & Found at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne. Sarina’s work has more recently been published in Photo Compendium Australia, as well as Imago Mundi – Looking Down Under, Contemporary Artists from Australia. In 2018 and 2019 Sarina's work was selected for a curated exhibition at the Jarvis Dooney Galerie, Berlin, Germany, and is currently represented by West End Art Space, Melbourne. Sarina has a Bachelor of Education in Visual Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Fine Art from RMIT University.

Dr. Wilma TABACCO was born in Italy and has lived mainly in Australia. Since 1988 she has presented 38 solo exhibitions and participated in over 200 group exhibitions nationally and internationally. She has completed an MA (1996) and a PhD (2006). Wilma has lectured in painting, drawing and printmaking since 1988. She has received grants from the Australia Council, Arts Victoria, Nets Victoria, and Asialink. Her work has been acquired by major museums including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria, and by private collectors in Australia, U.S.A. and Europe. Nine exhibition catalogues have been published on her work, which has also been reviewed extensively. electronic catalogue

Karen FERMO is a designer, independent curator and educator. Her work focuses on the culture of design, exploring narratives and the way design intersects and enriches everyday life. She is co-director of architecture practice, Kart Projects, providing a critical overview of Kart’s projects and business as well as leading research, writing and exhibition-related projects – including curating Makette, a design exhibition which explored the notion of ‘side projects’ at the Design Institute of Australia (DIA) gallery and producing short documentary films for the Design History Australia Research Network (DHARN) – Les Mason: Solo, as well as Mary Featherston: Design for Children and Grant and Mary Featherston: The Partnership 1965-70s, both of which were included in the Design for Life exhibition at Heide MoMA. Alongside her work within the practice, Karen is Major Discipline Leader in Branded Environments in the School of Design at Swinburne University of Technology, teaching across design theory and history, design studio and entrepreneurship.