Born and raised in Italy, Iole Alessandrini is an artist who has been living in Seattle since 1994. She received her diploma in Fine Arts from the First State School of Fine Arts in Rome and earned two master's degrees in Architecture: one from the University of La Sapienza in Rome and the other from the University of Washington in Seattle. It is the intersection between these two creative expressions – art and architecture – through which her work moves
"Through manipulation of light, digital media and physical space, I design and build ephemeral, controlled environments that people enter rather than observe from a distance. Light is energy: waves and particles of infinitesimal dimensions that are made visible by boundaries. Architecture is a movement: a powerful and meaningful symbol that redefines space and invents new functions. Physical space in its states of transformation solicits emotional feelings and brings back memories. Light, being a remote projection from a time of which we have no memory, challenges these feelings and moves our emotions, and ideas forward."
The works' environmental scale, its existence in public space, and its interactive structure are a few marks of Alessandrini's work.
In 1995, with Art In The Park, Alessandrini took advantage of her studies on natural phenomena such as light, shadows, and reflections and used them to provide an ordinary natural background and relative darkness for an outdoor site-specific video installation. The project won her a NIAUSI fellowship and the design was presented in a lecture format at the Seattle Art Museum in 1996.
In Winter, Season Of Light (2000), Alessandrini designed and built a virtual landscape that stretched 700 feet long and 100 feet high built of panels, light, and water to reveal the absent life and the physical void left behind after the demolition of a section of downtown Tacoma.
In Seattle, she also designed and built Aqua Pura Vista (2000), a light, video, and sound installation that occupied an early 20th-century water tower in Capitol Hill. Natural sunlight and shadows cast patterns on the installation, already a digital representation of the surrounding nature and architecture of the tower.
Alessandrini's work has been supported through grants, resources, and ideas from: 911 Media Arts Center, the Bellevue Art Museum, the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs (formerly Seattle Arts Commission), the Cultural Development Authority of King County (formerly King County Arts Commission), the Tacoma Arts Commission and others. She is the recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2002), the Betty Bowen Award (2000), the Artists Trust Fellowship (2000), the NIAUSI Fellowship (1996) and a New Media Artist in Residence at Jack Straw Production (2004).