Nature goes her own way, despite furious attempts by mankind to mould her and keep her in place. The Brazilian artist Chiara Banfi (born Sao Paulo in 1979) is fascinated by the process of how nature keeps breaking free from that man-made mould, and is inspired by nature’s superhuman scale and power. Banfi’s murals depict organic life forms, reminiscent of tropical creepers, which take over the space they inhabit. The result is a fresh perspective on architecture and a dreamy, almost magically realistic experience of the exhibition space.
Fire House is Chiara Banfi’s first European solo exhibition. It brings together the elements water and fire. The element water takes its cue from the controlled tidal movements along the Dutch coast, which are represented by the austere grey colour fields the artist applied to the walls. Offsetting the austerity of the water, brightly coloured vinyl stickers, representing fire, seem to have a life of their own as they make their way across the walls, ceilings, floors and windows of the space.
The exhibition at De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal also includes Banfi’s first introduction of a three-dimensional element: hammocks, which appear to be spatial versions of her murals. Banfi invites you to enhance your vision by lying back in a hammock, and seeing her work from a different perspective. Embraced by the hammock, suspended in mid-air and surrounded by Banfi’s drawings, the aesthetics of her imagery strike you as a visualization of sound – the sound of a vital, strong and fast growing organism.