POLE STAR – Francesca Armand

July 2nd – 29th, 2014

Opening on July 2nd, 2014, 6-9pm @ Ganzo, via de Macci, 85r, Firenze, Italia

Curated by Melissa Kreider, Mia Badham, and Lucia Giardino

Francesca Armand, Pole Dancer in Frodo, 25x35cm, 2014

Ganzo, the creative learning lab of Florence University of the Arts, is glad to announce a graceful yet powerful exhibition. Francesca Armand’s Pole Star, was born from her interest and study of pole dancers. To fully understand the dance she began taking classes herself, and also using photos and videos of her professor as inspiration. Women who study this art must overcome obstacles both social and physical. Upon first impression this type of dance is often declared inappropriate or scandalous, but Francesca reveals the elegance and the sport behind its “sexy” facade. As well as being socially risqué, pole dancing is physically strenuous. The dance requires strength as well as continuous friction of the skin against metal. The muscles and callouses become trophies of their hard work and accomplishment. The fluidity that these women are able to achieve is truly astounding. Their movements are weightless as they slide up and down the pole seeming to defy gravity. On the pole, the woman is transformed into a raw, primitive creature; becoming only flashes of skin and blurs of hair. The title of the exhibit Pole Star holds a double meaning. On the surface it refers to the dancers but its deeper meaning alludes to the Northern and Southern pole stars that served as guidance for travellers and sources of inspiration to all who sought it. Francesca Armanda’s exhibit will also include watercolour portraits of various Florentine men. The portraits are complemented by paintings of dried flowers that are either incorporated into or attached to the back of the work. The two images create an interesting dialogue suggesting the woman behind the man. Armand’s work spotlights unexpected elements both the male and female character.

F_AIR – Ganzo Collective is a group of selected students of the course of Gallery Management and Exhibition Curating at Florence University of the Arts. Summer 2014 F_AIR – Ganzo Collective includes students Mia Badham and Melissa Kreider, coordinated by professor Lucia Giardino


Francesca Armand was born in Cuneo, Italy. In 1988 she moved to Florence to attend the university, where she graduated in Architecture.

She began painting in 1995, mostly on commission, focusing on portraits of home interiors and their occupants.

From 1997 to 1999 she lived in London, UK. When she returned to Florence, she started to work as an architect, yet she has continued to paint. Her recent artistic curriculum includes two Florentine exhibitions: the collective show ITALIA, 2011, and a solo at Cantina Barbagianni. From 2011 to 2012, she was a professor at Florence University of the Arts. She is currently living and working in Florence.