Memories of a Future Life, her current exhibit at Provo’s Writ & Vision, is only one of several projects Paola Bidinelli is birthing (or rebirthing) in 2022.
The exhibit, a series of sculptural and relief works that uses natural found materials like stones, branches, nutshells and bark, reflects Bidinelli’s desire to see past traditional concepts of time and identity to reveal an unseen essence. “During my process, I penetrate [these objects’] details to exhume a hidden beauty,” the Utah County artist says. “Since they are often considered ‘worthless’ I make it my mission to bring back to life what could easily be lost to indifference, distraction or ignorance. My admittedly pretentious goal is to give these creations a second chance … On a personal level, it typifies a spiritual homecoming for a deeply layered centrality of life.” In these works she has reduced her palette to three symbolic colors: “Black denotes the limiting beliefs from which we all strive to be free. White symbolizes the purification process. Gold embodies an awakening to a rebirth of knowledge and light.”
Bidinelli grew up in the rugged Abruzzo region of central Italy where she spent time in close contact with the natural surroundings, “gathering, reimagining, and crafting life from discarded things.” After completing her master’s degree in Art Semiology at the Gabriele d’Annunzio University in the Abruzzo, she delved even more into her personal research by attending the International Arts Academy and the School of Painters in Piazza del Popoloin Rome. She has exhibited widely in Europe, and, since 2003, has lectured as a freelance professor at universities and academies in Italy and Switzerland.
In 2015, she moved to the United States and began exhibiting in Utah, California, Massachusetts, Arizona, Florida and Vermont. She also founded Bianco Avant-garde, a nonprofit that operates in Massachusetts and Utah and aims “to redefine the progressive, ongoing role of art in a fast-changing world, and the necessity to approach a mindful understanding of the current social dynamics.”
In 2022, you’ll find Bidinelli’s work “Sense of Oneness” at the 12th International Art Competition at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. Her “Energy Mother, The Abundance” will be featured in the project “A Daily Devotional Book” in the Exponent Magazine. “Beyond the Ego’s Home” will be featured in Young Ravens Literary Journal. And she’ll be participating in An Artist and a Mother, a project on Utah women artists to be published by Demeter Press.
She’ll also be launching the Trash vs Beauty – Clean the Planet with Art! project in collaboration with local companies, business, institutions and schools. “It is about an environmental action through the circular economy,” she say. “The circular economy is the idea of taking the old, discarded and forgotten objects in our lives and through a new understanding and ‘rebirth’ creating something beautiful, inspiring and lasting. As a mixed media artist and eco-activist working in the Utah Valley area, I am very aware of the importance of building a future of resourceful innovation for humanity through rethinking, reusing, and reducing our waste. My efforts to accomplish this are made visible through my work, which is composed almost entirely of industrial and domestic waste and other discarded materials found in nature … The main purpose of this initiative is to invite local businesses to rethink their daily waste by allowing me to turn it into something new. With this material, I will create remarkable works of art to be displayed in the office space under the title ‘Trash vs Beauty- Formerly our Trash, Now Something New.'”
Paula Bidinelli: Memories of a Future Life, Writ & Vision, Provo, through January. You can view more of the artist’s work at https://www.paolabidinelli.com and https://www.instagram.com/paolabidinelliart.
Every January we check in with Utah artists to see what the new year holds in store for them.