26 November, 2020       LISBON - MAX. Variable cloudiness with a passing showerº, MIN. 13º

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Folders  |  Enter the world of Bela Silva
Enter the world of Bela Silva
Cédric Lecler
Enter the world of  Bela Silva

To rub shoulders with Bela Silva’s world means entering a realm of fairy tales and fables, where the monsters and fairies from our childhood still exist, hidden within our deepest memories!

It also means to some extent entering the world of illustration and the highly representational where lines, colours and tones are perfectly mastered.

The works by Bela Silva are filled with real or imaginary animals that often take a main role and where humans – often women – take a back seat.  Bela shakes-up habits and tradition in her works, always with a twist of humour, sometimes even immodesty bordering on the erotic. 

We took a first set of photos in her workshop close to Graça, but I was lucky enough to finish the interview in her home which is just like entering one of her paintings.

Very simply, and accompanied by bouts of hearty laughter so typical of Bela, she explained her artistic journey from its origins until the world famous and acknowledged artist she is now.

After studying in the Fine Art Academy in Lisbon, Bela Silva continued to develop her art in the Chicago Art Institute (as an Art post graduate).

She has to date presented tens of individual and joint/combined exhibitions throughout the world, namely in the United States (Chicago, New-York, St Louis), Japan (Tokyo) where she is particularly liked, but also in France (Vallauris) and Italy (Florence).

Most of her exhibitions have, of course, been held in the United States and Portugal, her homeland. One of her works can be seen by all Lisbon residents every day for the price of an underground ticket, for she painted the painting on ceramic that features in the Alvalade underground station.

Bela Silva makes a living from her art and becomes more serious when she tells me about how difficult it can be for an artist to be both constantly creative (not really a problem for her personally!) whilst at the same time taking care of material needs and the administrative and financial issues linked to her work: organising exhibitions, (often tough) negotiations with art galleries and general promotional work. It’s not easy for artists: particularly in the current climate!

So what are Bela’s future plans (at least those she can divulge)? She is currently deep in the process of organising an exhibition in Rome where her latest sculptures (ceramics and stoneware) will be on show, she also wants to start working on large-scale ceramic pieces. 

What could be more natural then than going to Caldas da Rainha during the summer to work in the very birthplace of decorative ceramics? 
Her work is really worth taking the time to discover, and I can bet you now that Bela Silva will be one of the those Portuguese artists that will feature in every professional or amateur art lover’s collection in the years to come.

Detail from ceramic bathroom tiles                                 Detail  from a painting (birthday present for her son)

Detail from ceramic bathroom tiles                                               Detail from a sketch for ceramic tiles                                     

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