From pharmacist to artist

Rachele Bianchi is an eminent contemporary Italian artist and sculptor, whose works are currently on display at Opus 64 Galerie in Sliema.

Rachele Bianchi’s sculptures and paintings will be on display at Opus 64 Galerie, Sliema.
Rachele Bianchi’s sculptures and paintings will be on display at Opus 64 Galerie, Sliema.

Born and educated in the quintessentially art-historical city of Milan, Bianchi studied the Classics and then graduated in Pharmacy. The young woman - something of a rebel against the current ideas of a ladies' occupation in the mid-20th century - followed her heart, devoting herself to the study and expression of art, experimenting with various selected media.

This classical and pharmaceutical education, combined with a personal quest for an artistic expression through diverse media, led to an academic though innovative departure; an adventure even, into the alchemy of colours and form. Indeed, the soul-searching of this imaginative artist made for a therapeutic journey - not only of her own personal self-discovery, but also to successfully communicate this to others via her skills as an artist and sculptor.

From the outset of her artistic career - initially in pencil study drawings - Bianchi displays a clear economy of line with an astute awareness of form. Life studies culminated in works of art of the female nude such as Donna Seduta and Due Figure both from 1952. Already in this early work an understanding of solid tactile values, advanced anatomy and quality draughtsmanship are evident. Adventures in paint (tempera on paper) were followed by experiments in clay with high-fire glazes on large hand-made pots. Coloured pottery forms also included a much loved and oft pursued Nativity theme. Family life did not deter the enterprising woman from pursuing an artistic career. Experiment in sculpture followed - particularly in bas relief as well as in three dimensional representations, many of which are displayed or housed in distinguished public or private collections in Italy as well as internationally.

The island of Malta is also able to boast ownership of a formidable bronze female figure, Personaggio, donated by this established sculptor, and on permanent display at the Manoel Theatre, Valletta to commemorate her visit and also as part of the national celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the National Unity of Italy.

Bianchi's recent work depicts revisited her own bronze sculptural elements - photographed and transferred onto canvas - hand-embellished with decorative, naive patterns and colour. These, together with her signature bronze sculptures, are on exhibit at Opus Galerie 64, Tigne Street, Sliema until March 24.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:30 to 13:00 and 16:30 to 19:00. For more information contact 21 323206; email [email protected]


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