Contemplating Land/Scapes with Bela Silva
As part of our series on the artists and designers behind Spazio Nobile’s Land/Scapes, we asked Bela Silva about finding inspiration in nature
TLmag: How does the landscape inspire and influence your work?
Bela Silva: The landscape inspires my work in terms of the forms, volumes and colors. Nature is a source of infinite inspiration.
Why have you chosen to represent the landscape in the medium or materials that you work with?
Clay is a material that I have used for many years, I do not get tired of this material as it continues to surprise me.
Historically, the landscape has been a key influence of many artists, do you feel a connection to them?
Yes, it is always interesting to see how this theme is treated so differently by artists across different centuries. For example, I admire the work of Joachim Patinir who was a Flemish painter of the Renaissance period.
I like how Patinir painted the mountains landscape with shapes and colors in such an interesting way. Some of the forms in his paintings have been a starting point for my sculptures. I never forgot when I saw a painting by Patinir at the national museum of Lisbon, my birth city, in my teenage years. The mountains are all painted in blue, not brown, which has a total freedom that challenges reality – like a child often do.
How did the painting Bruegel the Elder ‘Landscape with the Fall of Icarus’ on which Land/Scapes is centered, influence your work?
What I like about Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is that in the foreground there is a scene of daily life but further back, and we almost do not notice, there is a monster, a figure falling in the water in a simple splash and there, mythology crosses with reality.
I have always loved history and mythology. Mythology fascinates me as it transmits great truths about the human being.
Bela Silva’s glazed stoneware pieces entitled ‘Nilo’, ‘Metropolis’, ‘Chicago’ and ‘Iceland In My Dreams’ will be on display as part of Spazio Nobile’s Land/Scapes exhibition until February 17, 2019
Cover image: Bela Silva, photography by Sebastian Erras