Botanical print on canvas
Dimensions: 40cm (H) x 60cm (W) x 2cm (D) / 15.7" (H) x 23.6" (W) x 0.8" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
The ‘Sindoni vegetali’ (plant shrouds) I create are independent of the space-time dimension, which makes them a perfect documentation of the natural processes that manifest themselves so phenomenally onto the canvas. My unique technique of wrapping plant materials inside shroud-like fabric allows me capture the essence of nature. Over a long period of time – and influenced by a number of variables, all of which play a vital part in the end result – the canvases absorb the shapes and colours of the natural materials wrapped within. They become ‘skins of nature’, shapes that are visible today but gone tomorrow, silently morphing through a multitude of shapes and colours.
My most recent work in particular is part of a series that stems from the idea of representing ‘skin’ (with the backbone, complexion and epidermis visible under the microscope) through visual and symbolic language. I speak of the backbone as the main support system of the body, solid yet flexible, supporting our ‘organ of thoughts’. The skin is a representation of the individual spiritual self, which is able to exist for as long as it is enveloped in a physical outer shell: the authenticity of one’s own skin. Similar to the Greek mythology of Marsyas, it is believed that the skin can survive on its own and, as long as it endures, will remain a symbol of the abundant self it once contained.
My use of the plural ‘sindoni’ is deliberate. It is commonly believed that the use of the singular ‘sindone’ can only refer to the one and only Shroud of Turin, which places humankind at the centre of the world. Through my work, I’m trying to demonstrate the plethora of ‘sindoni’ that exist throughout the plant world alone, therefore dispelling the theory of human ‘primacy’. Over time, sunlight supports the development process until eventually, only the most powerful shades remain visible on the surface – those that time has chosen to naturally ‘engrave’ onto the canvas. In this particular series of Sindoni vegetali, the main component is no longer the existence of the imprint but the absence of it. Almost like a reversal of creation, destruction results in a new kind of beginning. The end result is a visualization of what has been, a still image of a process that has come to an end. The transience of their beauty is what makes the Sindoni Vegetali so extraordinary. It is represented in continuously changing nature, in colours that are here today, different tomorrow and possibly even gone the day after: a commemoration and celebration of the canvas itself becoming history. It is this transience of the shrouds that accompanies us in the beauty of impermanence, in the moving and continuous change of nature.
Canvases from the "Sindoni vegetali" series have been exhibited in important contemporary places in Italy, such as Art Night Venice, Paratissima Art Fair, REA Fair, Mercati di Traiano, MUST Vimercate, Museo Civico di Crema e del Cremasco and other works by the artist have been exhibited at the Triennale di Milano.
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Based in: Verona
Gaia Bellini was born in Bardolino, in the hills surrounding Lake Garda (Italy), in 1996. Her interest in art developed from an early age, studying water colour in a village workshop. After completion of her studies, she spent a year in South America and was able to learn more about colour naturally occurring in the plant world. Afterwards, she returned to Italy and graduated from the Fine Arts Academy in Venice in Visual Arts. Gaia has always been a lover and careful observer of nature. Through intense study of the art of plant dye and print, she was able to find the perfect outlet to express her passion through what she calls her ‘Sindoni vegetali’: evocative canvases she creates using her unique botanical printing approach, combining the delicacy of the shroud-like fabric with wild plants like seeds and berries. Wrapped like a chrysalis, the canvases develop through a combination of the power of nature and the vision and skill of the artist.
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