In my artwork, especially the pieces that I am sharing in the above gallery, I use a lino-printing technique on support materials that include cartoon and fairy tales characters from my childhood, besides more realistic images I process based on family photos. Because of my family background and personal history of being born and raised for substantial parts of my childhood in both Bosnia and Croatia, the former Yugoslavia, and having been affected by the Balkan war s of the 1990’s, the materials I use tend to refer back to pre-war Balkan daily life and include pages from the Constitution in effect during the Tito years, old history books with cyrillic script, maps, letters and diaries that belonged to my grandfather.
Thus, through my artwork I attempt to produce a new type of narration that starts exactly at the point where the old storytelling stops yielding meaning and produces a sort of cognitive dissonance and shock. After a certain amount of time, however, the creative process kicks in and starts producing its opposite effect, yielding to imagination and combinatorial techniques to unleash the creativity of a new narrative conveyed through images and poetry. This is the kind of process that is behind these image .
Mihaela Šuman was born in the former Yugoslavia in 1980 and spent her early years between Bosnia and Croatia. In 1993, following the outbreak of the war between the various republics, her family moved to Trentino, in northern Italy.
Because of integration problems, she dropped out of high school and returned to Bosnia, but within one year she was back in Italy.
Florence became her adoptive city for 15 years, from 2004 to 2019. There she worked as as a self-taught papier-mâché mask maker and organized exhibitions. She completed her art studies taking evening course and learned LIS, the Italian sign language.
In 2019 she won the national competition of contemporary Italian literature, poetry and graphics section sponsored by publisher Laura Capone Editore, and ten of her poems are published in the anthology MIG – 21 AA.VV, which has one of her prints as its cover..