Anne De Carbuccia is a french-american environmental artist. She has traveled the globe for several years documenting the evolution of the planet and the impact of mankind on the environment. In 2016 she founded the time shrine foundation which raises awareness of human-caused threats to the planet

Where did you grow up, and when did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I spent my childhood between Paris and Corsica. Between culture and nature. My father was a publisher and my mother a diplomat and art collector. I grew up with a lot of classical and modern art around me, but also spent a lot of time in the wild landscapes of Corsica.
I don’t think you decide to become an artist, you just are. A lot of people are. The decision is whether you act upon it or not. I decided to act on my artistic streak after I had children. Having children is a form of art in itself. I don’t think I could have done both at the same time. I did one after the other.

Which Pomellato jewel best represents you?
The new collection Iconica works really well for me. It revisits traditional savoir-faire with an easy-to-wear look that can be customised for every occasion. The rings are very comfortable and modern which is important when you work a lot with your hands. I really appreciate the fact that Pomellato is studying ways of using 100% sustainable gold. This is positive jewelry!

Which Pomellato jewel do you identify with your work?
Through my Installations, the TimeShrines, I am combining archaic and ancient references within a natural setting. The Sabbia collection is a fusion between nature and culture. It recalls organic sensations yet it is very refined. The fact that Pomellato is part of the Responsible Jewelry Council and is working with 100% traceability of the diamonds that are used, definitely enhances the story and the beauty of the pieces.

Where is your favorite neighbourhood in Milan, and your favorite place?
I love the center of Milan as it is the most cosmopolitan area I have ever seen. You can walk everywhere and yet be exposed to art, fashion, design and beautiful architecture. My favorite place is the Duomo’s roof top (preferably reached by walking up the stairs). It’s an extraordinary location in the heart of the city. You can walk through the gothic “arcades” sculpted as delicately as lace whilst admiring a 360 degree view of the entire city.

Do you wear jewels for special occasions only or also in your daily life?
I wear rings everyday. They give my hands an extra language. I use my hands a lot, both in my work and when I talk. I choose the rings I use in function of the seasons, the weather and my mood. They are often a good reflection of how I feel; whether I want to send out positive message or to seek protection.

Tell us about the symbols you use in your pictures?
My work is full of symbolisms and details, but the constant thread through my current project is the TimeShrine. The TimeShrine exists in the foreground of every image, and always contains the hourglass and the vanity, the artistic representation of the human skull. The hourglass, of course, is a symbol of time, and is one of the most ancient ways of measuring time. The vanity was used in still life art throughout history, and is a symbol of choice. The choice to live a productive and generous life, or the choice to be motivated by vanity. Beyond those, the Shrines are composed of symbolic elements found or borrowed on location.

Is there something you always carry with you when you travel?
I always bring my hourglass and my vanity, as they are the constant message in all my images. Everything else I find on location. I also always have very small and slick black knife. It was specially made for me by a master knife maker in the mountains of Corsica. It’s very useful for all sorts of practical purposes. I also believe it brings me luck and protection.

What is the most extreme situation you have been in?
I would say that extreme is a relative adjective! Being 10 meters away from some of the largest male African elephants left on the planet could seem a little extreme to some but to me it was a blessed moment. Climbing on top of an iceberg in Antartica that could crumble at any moment could be considered intense, but to me it was an incredible opportunity! Mount Everest was extreme… everything up there is extreme for anybody and everybody. I’m not sure humans even belong up there… and they certainly leave a lot of rubbish behind.

Tell us about One Planet One Future, when was it conceived and why?
I was collaborating with an artist on location at Lake Powell in Arizona. I was always interested in Shrines as they are one of our oldest art forms, and I was working through my own anxiety about our planet’s future. I had collected antiquities for some time, and had brought along the hourglass and vanity with me with no clear plan in mind. Once, I created my first TimeShrine using organic elements found on location as a way of symbolizing the drought issues plaguing that part of the US. That was my first image. After that, I traveled to the Amazon and created two TimeShrines and images there, and then I went to Antartica and created seven more. After that, I knew that I had a series, a story and a mission.
In 2016, I founded the Time Shrine Foundation to continue creating free exhibitions that catered to schools and the public to raise awareness on what we have, what we can lose and what we have already lost. We have two permanent exhibitions today, in NYC and Milan, and other temporary exhibitions all the time.

In your daily life are your choices sustainable?
Yes of course. Sustainability is an important part of my personal message. For example: our power as consumers is enormous. We can influence a big part of the production chain through what we choose to buy or not to buy. I have almost completely removed disposable plastic bottles and bags from my daily life. I have cut my meat consumption by more than half (I actually feel a lot healthier). I avoid unsustainable foods and buy local products. I am very careful in choosing sustainable fashion brands when I shop and try to be aware of the ones that just have a “greenwashing” strategy, without seriously committing to sustainability (and there are a lot of those). I have completely stopped buying jeans that are not recycled (as they are the most polluting fashion item on the planet). And I am happy to collaborate with luxury brands such as Pomellato who are leading the way, with excellence and tradition, into a sustainable, ethical and gender-equal future. My advice is not to get overwhelmed but just choose a few issues you are ready to commit to supporting. If everyone made one small sustainable action every day, we could change the world overnight.