Pica is intrigued by the edge, dependent on the viewer, between craft and art. Decorative constructions of sea shells are found in many shops and homes in seaside towns around the world. While these are perhaps not often given the status of ‘art’ by those that make or buy them, Pica invites us to take another look through the frame of the Triennial. She made her own shell sculptures – in a different cultural tradition – and loaned them to shops and residents for public exhibition during the 2017 Triennial. The majority were displayed on window shelves, visible from both inside and outside, linking public and private space. Five of the sculptures were cast in bronze for all-weather display at dispersed sites in the town.
Amalia Pica’s art is conceptually driven, marked by wit and a sense of play. It often takes the form of temporary interventions to explore communication, metaphor, civic participation and how particular signals speak to different people and are interpreted in different cultural contexts. Communal experience is an important touchstone for her. She once taught art classes at primary school, and has retained a keen interest in pedagogy.