In this page you will find the articles about the artists who have graced our pages with their presence.
(living in hiding)
Epicurus considered friendship the highest good, both materially and spiritually. However, friendship can only be cultivated in a small circle, away from the storms of life.
The motto: Live in hiding (away from the crowd) is especially appropriate for art that often hides from the glitter of the media market, in order to achieve peace of mind and greatness of spirit. The following articles appeared in THE BADGER, all the artists live in the countryside, living and working according to this motto.
Joyful, smiling, vibrant and above all full of wonder and lively, this is the world created in each image by the gifted hands of Marcella Brancaforte, another artist who has chosen to live and work from the small town in the country side that keeps attracting artists from everywhere.
Marcella animates the pages of real and invented stories with her illustrations, but in her case the soul of the tale the “anima” is supplied by the colourful and passionate images that seem to flow effortlessly from her work.
Whenever I enter her small studio, I feel I am in a magic place, where stories meet and greet, live together and learn from each other. The artist is also a story teller, singer, performer, mother of two, teacher... the list is endless, because Marcella is really engaged in life.
Born and bred in the magnificent Sicilian city of Catania, where baroque architecture mixes together the white of the southern cities with the black of the volcanic stones from Mount Etna, Marcella has been moulded in that fertile territory so rich in cultural and artistic expressions. Her mother, a middle school teacher, was her first mentor and inspiration for her artistic development.
Let's listen to Marcella's words about her life and works:
After my childhood and adolescence, when I was 18, I went to Urbino to study Animated Design, there I learnt how to be by myself in the silence and fog of the Montefeltro hills. I then completed my university degree in Graphic Design, with Illustration as my major.
Illustration had always been my passion, together with listening and telling stories, listening to both classical and folk music, every aspect of my daily life has contributed to my becoming who I am now, personally and professionally.
When I was 5 years old I “illustrated” Andersen's Mermaid tale. I had already decided that I would add my images to the books I loved to read, since some of them didn't have illustrations like the ones I imagined. Actually, when I was 8, I wanted to run away with the circus in order to become a trapeze artist, but my Mother stopped me.
If I think of my sources of inspiration I can say: reading and studying a lot! I learnt also from my collegues at school Gianluigi Toccafondo, Marco Carloni, Silvano Bacciardi who sparkled my interest and enthusiasm for photography. Some of my teachers like Michele Provinciali and Pino Parini at ISIA, Enrico Ricci and, many years later, I met another great teacher: Domenico Di Mauro a traditional master in painting Sicilian riding carts.
One of my favorite projects from the past is La Bella dalla Stella d'Oro. I liked it because I could tell a story from the Sicilian Oral tradition using the elements of folk painting. I first prepared a big poster with all the scenes of the story, like a painted storyboard, then – as a proper storyteller – I told the stories adding images to the text. I believe it is a very democratic way of recounting a tale because the reader can choose to interpret the writing and the illustrations in any way he/she likes.
My work is always a form of story telling, (in Italian it is litterally called Singing Stories), as a consequence it has always come naturally to me to sing, thus telling a story and using evocative images to create the right atmosphere. This has been a very Sicilian tradition for a long long time. Singing for me was and still is very important, even if I do it less than in the past, because it keeps me balanced, I obtain the same effect by sitting in my studio drawing for hours in complete silence.
Since very young I have also been a teacher in different schools, probably because I had such good examples and mentors. At the moment I teach at the Liceo Artistico (Art High School) Midossi, near Viterbo,. My great passion is promoting reading and illustrated books. Since 1998 I have been supporting and working closely with Kids Libraries, while since 2010 I have worked with Marco Trullu at the project Libri Immaginari. http://librimmaginari.blogspot.it/
What a rich, intense, colorful, involved life Marcella has, it looks from outside like many lives rolled into one. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your work with us at THE BADGER, wherever there is joy of the heart and a desire to make people participate in it there is great art in all its different manifestations.
Interviewed by Antonella Vicini
Into the jungle
Vibrant the life flows on the walls, the ceilings, the doors of Bonaria Manca's house.
Uninterrupted run the years of her life, the people she has met, the family she still cherishes both in her memory and in her daily life.
Watching her paintings gives the feeling of plunging straight into her heart, a jungle of emotions, events, memories, where everything happens simultaneously in a circular time out of normal linear conventions.
Episodes of her life are painted next to the new testament life of Jesus, from his birth to the beautiful cross that would look perfect in a gothic church, each element becomes both earthly and celestial at the same time, so that the humble events of daily life acquire both fantastic and divine nature, while the sacred story of the Messiah takes on the quality of human living.
The dancers under the stars follow an ancient repetitive and haunting tune, while Bonaria's parents get warm sitting near her fireplace since the winter used to be so cold back home.
The houses in the many villages depicted on the walls huddle up around the main scenes, while few traits show the empty canvas that will be filled with the joy of the newlywed on a beautiful canvas.
Life, life, and more life pours out of Bonaria's art, without constraints, without reserves, with total adherence and joyful participation.
I was stunned into silence the first time I saw such bounty of life, such abundance of imagination and courage, her paintings made the house alive, the stories wanted to be told, seen, and accepted. I left in tears for the impact her work had had on me. I let time go by until I could face again her intensity, here below you will find some of her knowledge.
Like a wise woman of long ago, Bonaria speaks in short sentences, rich in meaning, telling some of her life stories, some sparkle of hard-earned wisdom:
“The hands of an embroiderer should not get dirty with menial work, looking after animals, cleaning or cooking.”
(In this way she was teased by her relatives, yet she did just so until one day:)
Life exploded inside me and I had to follow it, even if I didn't understand it.
Nature is in me and I believed in it.
Usually, we see it: this moment of life just before our eyes, but we don't believe it. I did and, in my simple way, I painted it, thus following God's project. So I have lived fully the life God has given me.
We are here to share what we have, we cannot just keep it to ourselves.
We are like a bunch of leaves, we do not know where we are going.
We are forever walking: this is our existence.
People like Bonaria are precious, they shine in the life of any person who may meet them. Regardless of how much art we can understand or appreciate, we are able to see her greatness and the depth of her presence in life.
On my first and during my most recent visit with Bonaria, she said her farewell with a beautiful song that came spontaneously to her, it was a touching and profound moment, a hymn to life in all its beauty and greatness, beyond our limitations.
I do believe art is a great healer, certainly, art has made her whole, so that Bonaria could grace the world with her numerous works of art.
Inspired by Bonaria's art I have created this video:
This is Bonaria's website organized and managed by her niece
Paola Manca, she is also the photographer for all the artist's work you will see in the next pages. http://www.bonariamanca.it/
You can find the full article, complete with many images in
THE BADGER Year 2 Volume 4
The fresco below by Bonaria Manca
is a detail of
Sheperds making ricotta cheese
Where can you find mesmerizing works of art, shining metallic objects flying in imaginary skies, the passion and gentleness of love interpreted by feathers in the wind, lights commanded by voices/sounds/movement, dancers eternally fluctuating in the air accompanied by ethereal music?
In Johannes Dimpflmeier magical and ironic house/workshop.
Perfectly interpreting the new Renaissance, Johannes is a man who has literally built his life around him, from his house to his art, never losing contact with the natural life that embraces him all around.
Hidden under a ridge, you need to know where to look in order to find his place, made with love and much toil over a long period of time. There live the Kranius family, sharing wisdom, some tics and the many noisy remarks of their, so far, only son with his heavy country accent. In those rooms you can find also the many flying ships of Johannes imaginary fleet, soon to be seen in a series of important shows around the world. If you look carefully you will notice the jewels, the acrobats, the dancer on the tightrope, the amazing moving paintings, the wind activated iron sculptures...
Wherever you look there is something ready to approach you with its fascinating allure, its tempting sound, its hints at a different reality, a space much wider and deeper than daily routine: the crystal clear sky of intelligence bathed in the light of spirit.
I have known Johannes for some years now, but I am as baffled as I was when I first entered his creative den, there is no way for me to understand, my rational mind is not able to comprehend his wide scope, nor his goals, but my heart is lighter after a visit there, my body feels at ease and welcomed by these speaking pieces. I could spend hours just admiring the two small boats lost in the ocean of their love for each other, it is a mechanical movement, yet it is never the same, it never repeats itself. Somehow Johannes has managed to make his art alive beyond the frame, physically reaching out to each one of us in its own peculiar way.
I have seen different reactions with people of all ages, invariably, at some point everybody is touched, moved and lead into another universe, by the gentle yet firm hand of the artist.
By following his deepest inspiration, by entrusting his entire life to his art, Johannes has not only created great beauty and profound meanings, but he has also opened a door to infinity that is available to all the people who get in contact with his art and have the courage to step into it.
In January 2015 I started this journey introducing you to a secluded piece of land where several artists have chosen to live and work, following the ancient motto of Epicurus in their own ways.
This discovery continues with Johannes Dimpflmeier's work.
You can also see the video with Luis Vasconcelos photos and Johannes Dimpflmeier's music in the same volume.
His website will help you to discover his amazing world.
More information and some photos of his works can be found in
THE BADGER Year 1 Volume 4
The artwork below by Johannes Dimmpflmeier is
Homage to Angelo
A Portrait of
EDY UCCELLINI SCHILLER
Epicurus considered friendship the highest good, both materially and spiritually. However friendship can only be cultivated in a small circle, away from the storms of life, therefore the motto: Live in hiding (from the crowd).
Art often hides from the glitter of the media market, the ancient ones recommended to live hidden, if you really wanted to achieve peace of mind and greatness of spirit.
With this issue I want to introduce you to a secluded piece of land where several artists have chosen to live and work, in a way following the ancient motto of Epicurus: living away from the crowd, as the painter that I want to introduce to you today: Edy Uccellini Schiller.
Edy has chosen an unusual path to preserve her art and her life from the temptations of fame and glory.
In a series of long conversations we had at her place in the countryside, hidden away from the main road, she told me small morsels of her fascinating life and apprenticeship in art, but perhaps the most important lesson was a simple and clear sentence:
I knew who I was, I knew my skills and my limits, perhaps I have not achieved all I could have in my art, but I wanted to do many other things in my life besides painting.
Edy Uccellini Shiller was born in a poor family in the northern region of Lombardia, just south of Milan, close to the river Po', the longest in Italy. Her love for this region is documented especially by one painting of the typical buildings you can find so close to the river, semi hidden by the tall poplar trees that seem to embrace the houses, vacant of people.
The entire landscape is animated, vibrant with life and action, even if you cannot see people or animals, the land itself seems to be speaking, beckoning us to enter the painting and walk under the trees, open the doors and finally inhabit the small white dwellings.
This enticement, this subtle invitation to partake of her world is present in all her work, one painting of a simple room with its furnishings gives us a glimpse of order, pleasantness, above all it hints at the simple, yet firm and solid femininity of the artist.
Here is a woman who has crossed the 20th century with complete freedom of observation, of movement and thought, not against someone or something, but towards real independence.
There seems to be no struggle in her work, just an ease that shines with beauty.
The frequent musical instruments present in her work play harmonious music so that we can leave behind the noisy chaos of daily life and drink from the pure source of existence.
Certainly, her intense spiritual life, her involvement with charity organizations, her hands on work after natural disasters such as earthquakes have left their impression on her work that also expresses goodness and a noble heart, such as it is rare to find.
Her entire work is dedicated to the protection of what is most delicate and precious: our souls.
For images of her art and a brief description of a sample of Edy's paintings, you can read the full article in:
THE BADGER Year 1 Volume 1
The painting below is VISITATION (Visitazione) 1976
by Edy Uccellini Schiller