Bea Bonafini

Crossing the boundaries between genres and ranging from prehistory to contemporary oneiric visions, Bea Bonafini intertwines the past with the present with the aim of creating new mythologies. By imagining lifeforms that have or could have existed and their inevitable extinction, she engages in an act of resurrection that reactivates all that has been lost. By reimagining the ghostly bodies of mythological figures that once fuelled human imagination, an attempt is made to embody collective mourning, bringing to life that which haunts collective consciousness in order to make peace with it.

Across her practice, Bonafini’s curiosity lies in cross-fertilising painting, tapestry, sculpture and artisanal techniques. She adopts the methods and materials traditionally used in other industries, extrapolating and interconnecting them: industrial domestic carpets are handled as stone to create complex inlaid tapestries; porcelain is stained and manipulated, using the Japanese nerikomi technique to resemble minerals, and carved like prehistoric tools. Sardinian cork is painted and shapes are engraved. Together Bonafini’s work forms swirling scenarios that are fragmented and multi-layered, optimistic and tender, while embracing the strength of fragility and vulnerability. Acting as protected spheres, the worlds that are created aim to be receptacles of a lost spirituality, as transcendental openings.

Scissors Roman
Scissors Roman, 30x30cm, Vulcan stoneware, reclaimed clay, 2019
Scissors Roman IV
Scissors Roman IV, 30x30cm, Part-glazed vulcan stoneware, porcelain and horse hair, 2019
Shapeshifting II
Shapeshifting II, 290x420cm, Pastel on wool and nylon carpet inlay, 2018
Silent Strengths
Silent Strengths, 200x140cm, Hand-dyed and tufted bamboo silk, 2022
Whispsilk, 80x80x3cm, Gouache and watercolour on engraved cork, 2022