Sindoni vegetali. Dittico a Marsia, 2019

Artist : Gaia Bellini



The ‘Sindoni vegetali’ (plant shrouds) I create are independent of the space-time dimension, which makes them a perfect documentation of the natural processes that manifest themselves so phenomenally onto the canvas. My unique technique of wrapping plant materials inside shroud-like fabric allows me capture the essence of nature. Over a long period of time – and influenced by a number of variables, all of which play a vital part in the end result – the canvases absorb the shapes and colours of the natural materials wrapped within. They become ‘skins of nature’, shapes that are visible today but gone tomorrow, silently morphing through a multitude of shapes and colours.


My most recent work in particular is part of a series that stems from the idea of representing ‘skin’ (with the backbone, complexion and epidermis visible under the microscope) through visual and symbolic language. I speak of the backbone as the main support system of the body, solid yet flexible, supporting our ‘organ of thoughts’. The skin is a representation of the individual spiritual self, which is able to exist for as long as it is enveloped in a physical outer shell: the authenticity of one’s own skin. Similar to the Greek mythology of Marsyas, it is believed that the skin can survive on its own and, as long as it endures, will remain a symbol of the abundant self it once contained.

My use of the plural ‘sindoni’ is deliberate. It is commonly believed that the use of the singular ‘sindone’ can only refer to the one and only Shroud of Turin, which places humankind at the centre of the world. Through my work, I’m trying to demonstrate the plethora of ‘sindoni’ that exist throughout the plant world alone, therefore dispelling the theory of human ‘primacy’. Over time, sunlight supports the development process until eventually, only the most powerful shades remain visible on the surface – those that time has chosen to naturally ‘engrave’ onto the canvas. In this particular series of Sindoni vegetali, the main component is no longer the existence of the imprint but the absence of it. Almost like a reversal of creation, destruction results in a new kind of beginning. The end result is a visualization of what has been, a still image of a process that has come to an end. The transience of their beauty is what makes the Sindoni Vegetali so extraordinary. It is represented in continuously changing nature, in colours that are here today, different tomorrow and possibly even gone the day after:  a commemoration and celebration of the canvas itself becoming history. It is this transience of the shrouds that accompanies us in the beauty of impermanence, in the moving and continuous change of nature.



Technique : botanical/plant print

Media support : cotton canvas
Artwork dimensions : 47 x 47 x 8 cm (each)
Framed : -




Sindoni vegetali. Dittico a Marsia - Gaia Bellini

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