15 December 2021

Bea Bonafini in group exhibition l Cob gallery, London

Bea Bonafini’s interdisciplinary practice draws from oneiric visions, overlapping personal and ancient mythologies. Her tactile, intimate worlds centre around sensuality, vulnerability and fantasy, forming swirling scenarios that are fragmented and multi-layered. Figures are evanescent and transcendental, referencing spiritual imagery where fluid bodies collide, disperse, swim, fly and fall. The focus on universal human experiences – birth, death, illness, love – unfolds and proliferates ambiguously, simultaneously graspable and fleeting.


Bonafini’s work expands the possibilities and interplay of painting, tapestry and sculpture. Holistic perspectives are developed in close dialogue with architecture, where works are expanded in space to envelop the viewer. Acting as protected spheres, Bonafini’s installations act as openings onto encounters between the earthly and the otherworldly.


Face of the Deep I is Bonafini’s  most recent carpet work as featured in Psychic Anemone. Bonafini uses the clippings of fabrics as if they were strokes of colour, ready to create shapes that are at once abstract and figurative, a familiarity whose meaning escapes us when we think we have caught it. The work shares its title with a groundbraking book in postmodern feminist theology by Catherine Keller, who reinterprets the cosmic creative process to incorporate creation myths, chaos, the sexual and the mystical. Bonafini’s tapestry attempts to put a face to the deepest depths of the oceans that personifies our subconscious: the skeleton of a prehistoric fish crushed by the infinite pressure of the ocean floor. Such monsters animate the primodial waters that perhaps we all came from. The hybridity of this hand-cut, inlayed textile piece lies between tapestries and carpets, inviting the viewer to caress its tender flesh, powdered with pastels.


Read more about the exhibition on Cob gallery’s website.