An extraordinary artist launching her second collection for Serax.
Bela Silva was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal but has travelled, studied and exhibited in many countries across the world. A true artistic globetrotter. She now commutes between Brussels and Lisbon.
Exploring many art and design disciplines on her educational journey, ceramics has remained her first love. After studying sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts and Ceramics in Portugal, she left her hometown to study at the Norwich University of Fine Arts in the UK and ended her impressive educational career at The Art Institute of Chicago in the USA. After her studies she remained in America where Chicago and New York became her home. During her stay she was encouraged and supported by free spirits and her work was exhibited alongside big names such as Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe.
Her career is as eclectic as her artwork. Bela has spent years focusing on large-scale projects. Her unique Portuguese inspired tile art covers entire walls, huge installations winning the hearts of art lovers from Brazil to Spain, China, Japan and Portugal where the inhabitants of her hometown can enjoy it in their everyday life adorning the walls of the metro.
Ever since she was a little girl, Bela has been fascinated by history and architecture. This fascination is translated through into her work. Her unbridled imagination gives antiquity and mythological creatures a modern face-lift, creating objects that seem to have been born in a different world and yet appear vaguely familiar. Her love of nature inspires her eclectic world of sea creatures, fish and coral all crossing paths with the world of fauna, birds, iguanas, reptiles and even dragons.
Bold and untamed her work is organic, voluptuous and generous influenced by her Portuguese origins and inspired by the richness and passions of the orient, Persia and Latin America. Colour therefore plays an important part whether subtle and sensual or direct, energetic and brutal. Her travels are an eternal source of inspiration and discovery.
Like William Morris, she believes that art must draw from life, have a place in our everyday existence and permeate and balance with our surroundings. Her love of drawing is a crucial part of her creative process. She ‘thinks’ both through her drawing and 3 dimensionally through sculpture.
Bela has exhibited solo and as part of a group of artists since 1992 in Japan, Lisbon, Portugal and America. She has public art in all these countries and has undertaken private and public projects both illustrative, sculptural and decorative. She has published books and has been featured in many magazines across the global press.
Her work is also collected by private and public collectors.
The collaboration with Serax
For her projects for Serax she has adjusted her focus to something smaller, something more intimate but has maintained her eclectic approach and her love of the imperfect. “I love imperfect things. Imperfection reflects individuality. I wanted to create everyday objects with a rough finish and a timeless look, and whose geographical origin is hard to guess.”
Carnet de Voyages her first collection for Serax is bold and expressive. A journey through time in the form of her ‘worldly’ collection of hand-painted ceramics. “Every bowl, dish or tray resounds with an unmistakable echo from the past. The hanging gardens of Babylon, land and sea, the old Portuguese azulejos tiles. With an open ticket for the final destination in the present, whether that is the family table set to share a convivial meal, or a place of honour on the window-sill to steal the show.”
In comparison, her new range Eternal Snow is a gentle and magical glassware collection, illustrating that functionality does not restrict her creativity. “I don’t like to stick to one style…One design can be traditional, while another contemporary. Sometimes I choose bombastic colours and on the other occasions I opt for sober shades”
Eternal Snow, designed for a sophisticated cocktail in the mid-winter sun, a glass of wine or a special dessert, has a playful touch - Do you still remember the childhood fascination of a snow dome? A winter world encased in glass. One shake and snowflakes would fall. It was this enchantment that inspired Bela to set about designing a range of glass drinkware.
The globe foot and the chalice are a trademark imperfect shape. The playful bubbles visible in the globe foot float in a clear sphere. The round shapes and soft colours of smoky grey and soft green are inspired by the colours of the night sky.
Eternal Snow launches with a collection of four unique globe stemmed glasses, in two sizes and two colours.