Artist feature

Heartstrings by Mirella Bandini in collaboration with Simon Probyn

Mirella Bandini is an emerging artist who works mainly with ceramics and metallic found objects. She also paints 2D work and incorporates text into her sculptures. Inspired by natural landscapes and the female form, Mirella explores how body, nature and materials might be sensuously interwoven. Her works have a strong abstracted quality, but are still recognisably figural; titles allude to feelings of freedom, fluidity, antiquity and femininity.  “Each piece holds a little piece of me,” Mirella explains, “sometimes sadness, often an inspired sparkle from a found object, and on the rare occasion, happiness, but they all have some narrative that started somewhere deep within.” 

After studying Landscape Architecture in South Africa, began attending ceramic sculpture lessons every week as a way of staying inspired. She immediately got hooked: “It's almost fifteen years I've been playing with clay, and it just never gets old!” Mirella aims to create intuitive and imperfect work that encompasses fluidity and playfulness, in order to find a way for different materials to mutually enhance one another. Her ceramic sculptures include headless goddesses, truncated torsos, and female forms displayed on swings and filled with gravel, representing the emotion buried in the body. 

Mirella uses the millennia-old technique of pit fired pottery: as well as using a modern kiln, she sometimes cooks her ceramic works at a lower temperature in a rudimentary pit filled with wood. This ancient method gives her work unexpected colours and textures. A recent highlight has been Mirella’s collaboration with the metal sculptor Simon Probyn: Mirella sketched initial ideas for steel sculptures including Heartstrings and Earth Mother, and then they created the pieces together. The aim was to convey voluptuousness using steel, and her collaboration with Simon helped extend her expressive range. 


Mirella has just moved house and her kiln isn’t set up yet: “I think this year I will probably focus more on the 2D side of things: a bit of painting, honing my printing skills, and drawing.” She also hopes to participate in a residency or two in order to create more site-specific works and collaborate with other artists. She is participating in an upcoming ArtCan group show ‘Eye of the Beholder’ at 508 Gallery, London, from 28th March to 4th April curated by Catherine Sweet. 

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Marchioness du bois by Mirella Bandini


Spiderwebs by Mirella Bandini

Blue Cinema by Farnaz Gholami

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