Tamara Valkama was born in Stockholm to a Finnish mother and an Italian father. Her mother, a ballet teacher, initiated her into the arts, first in the dance atelier in Lucca then, sensing her aesthetic sensitivity, enrolling her in the artistic lyceum. At the beginning of the nineties, Tamara moved to Florence where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts, in this period to support her studies she worked as a waitress. She then obtained the qualification in Technical Attaché of Mural Painting at the fresco workshop of Elena and Leonetto Tintori in Vainella. Today Tamara lives and works in Florence as a painter and interior decorator.

Visiting Tamara’s studio located within the magical atmosphere of the Vecchio Conventino in Oltrarno, it is difficult to say where her work as a decorator ends and where that of an artist begins, the two activities seem to overlap each other with the stencil decorations that pass from the cartoons leaning against the walls to the canvases in the backgrounds of her pictorial works.

Her activity as a decorator leads her to always experiment with new techniques and new materials, the results of these experiments are never taken for granted, as in the series of women’s faces painted in acrylic on pieces of polyurethane foam cut out and inserted into shoeboxes that were exhibited in the solo exhibition “FEMALE GAZE” at Studio Bong in Florence in May 2022.

Tamara’s work is a profound work of investigation on the theme of the feminine, of which the sensitive eye of the artist highlights the sacredness but at the same time the fragility. His work generates images suspended halfway between the dreamlike and the real. From her works emerge figures of women now lying dormant under skies with cathartic atmospheres, now in ecstasy intent on capturing the enchantment of a moment, now archetypes of our collective imagination such as the sculpture of the Melusina created for the group exhibition “Un sentiero di segni” organized by the Sincresis Association of Empoli at the Podere Lemniscata.

Here, as Alessandra Scappini of Sincresis, curator of the exhibition, writes, Tamara “is oriented to rediscover the bond of the eternal feminine with nature, to grasp the enchantment of the universe beyond the attachment to the concrete aspects of existence, to invite us to dream, to advance towards the beyond, trusting in ourselves to rediscover a possible contact with the universe, the harmonious conjunction between me and everything, between earth and sky, between body and soul”.

In the work created for “Sottosuolo”, a group installation around a large tree stump, organized by Sincresis for the winter solstice, Tamara evokes the rites of divination and poetry of the women of Algiers who gather at night to practice the boqala to find in the verses of poetry the answers to their uncertain future in a context of limited freedom.

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