28 May 2022

Bea Bonafini interview | The Design Edit

Bea Bonafini

“I was trying to understand how a pictorial space of a painting could become all-embracing and give you that sense of comfort – so you would want to spend time with the work, rather than confront it at a distance.”

The Design Edit (TDE): What have been your formative influences as an artist?
Bea Bonafini (BB): I grew up in an Italian household, but across different countries. I was born in Germany, but lived in Australia, Ireland, Slovakia and Italy as well. When I turned eighteen I came to London. Being here was formative: there were so many young people like me wanting to be artists, and I really felt this crushing pressure to figure out my own identity, in order for my work to be genuine.

TDE: So your background is as a painter?
BB: In the UK art school system, you can choose your department. It is really a sense of you having to belong to a certain tribe, but then you can react against it. I always wanted to place myself within a painting department in order to react to the painting world.

TDE: When you were at the Royal College of Art, what was your primary modem of expression?
BB: It was very interdisciplinary – I had performance, food and textiles, I had machines from the fashion department, I was getting into ceramics, I was painting on leather, I was making sculptures out of salty bread dough and staining them. I was all over the place but in the best possible way, because I was trying to figure out how to manipulate materials in different ways and not narrow myself down too soon.


For the full interview, click here.