Monika Cilmi

I was born in Catania, in the south of Italy and since then I have dedicated my life to Art.
I took an A Level Diploma in Art and Design and then I completed my studies at the Academy of Fine Art with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine art with a thesis on Japanese art, one copy of that is saved in the Library of the Japanese Institute in Rome.
I started to participate to art-exhibitions while I was still at University and I worked, for a while, in graphic studios. I used to write critics for an exhibition in a Museum in Sicily and articles for a Sicilian Cultural magazine. I also published some artworks in a book and then I continued to travel to find inspiration and improve my skills. First of all in Malta where I studied English and in Germany where I realized a personal exhibition. Then I came back in Italy and I started my career as a teacher working in various cities.
In 2002 I took a Master in Painting Restoration and in 2003 I decided to come back in Sicily where I taught history of art in a college and I participated to an International Art-exhibition for young artists in Rome. The same year I decides to move to London where I still live and found the opportunity to use my art skills teaching, continuing to study, doing research, participating to art-exhibitions and helping disabled people with art.
In 2006 I took a post-graduate Certificate in Korean and Japanese art and in 2009 I have completed a MA by project at London Metropolitan University.
I had solo and group exhibitions in England, one in Rome and next year I will be in Germany and maybe in Canada for a new show. I have also joined an art project in the USA with the creation of an artwork with recycled materials. my artwork have been published on local magazines and on the “British origami society” magazine.
I am actually working as a workshop leader and tutor in adult colleges and I am a visiting lecturer at London University of the arts.


nature and gesture

Monika’s work is about the relation between gesture and nature, crossing with Zen practice and its philosophic concepts.
Her work explores how symbols of nature have been used in relation to Chinese/Japanese writing systems and pictograms. The work expresses simplicity in the exploration of the “line” and involves a ritual process, that is part of the work itself, following specific exercises and
preparation, where everything has to be in place. The material Monika uses, such as ink, brush and paper and the way she prepares the ink are part of this ritual.
She explores gestures and movements through the brushwork, to discover how the energy is released and to investigate the way mind and body relate in order to find a natural harmony.

Harmony “Harmony”

Japanese ink on paper

landscape “landscape”

sumi e on paper

Bamboo “Bamboo”

Japanese ink on paper

Dance “Dance”

Calligraphy on paper

dancing emotions “dancing emotions”

ink and pastels on paper

Spin “Spin”

Chinese ink and pastels on paper

Shade “Shade”

ink and pastels on paper

Life “Life”

ink and collage with paper and cork

Moon “Moon”

ink and pastels on paper

wisdom “wisdom”

ink and acrylics on paper

Nature “Nature”

Japanese ink on paper

crab “crab”

ink on paper

heron “heron”

ink on paper

flycatcher “flycatcher”

illustration for a book

field “field”


ancient symbol “ancient symbol”

fragmented work on board

lightness “lightness”

ink on Chinese paper (scroll format)

power of the line “power of the line”

scroll (ink on paper)