Testing the notion of comfort, her installations and performances operate on the boundary between functionality and the aesthetic. Bonafini stretches familiar forms to make welcoming spaces suddenly feel uneasy, as if one is being consumed by rich decorative surfaces and layers of history.
For Dovetail's Nest Bonafini will transform the gallery space into a quasi-domestic and non-religious chapel. Covering the whole floor will be a large ‘intarsio’ inlayed carpet, pieced together from hand-cut sections. The design references a 15th Century narrative marble floor piece in the Siena Duomo. Depicting horses and soldiers in a theatricalised biblical battle, today the floor has been rubbed smooth by thousands of feet, erasing all detail and abstracting the figures in the scene. A large drawing on paper tiles occupies an end wall in the manner of an altarpiece. It suggests an interior space of contemplation housing a collection of stacked forms based on the artist’s own sculptures. Rising from the carpet are two tall, thin timber chair frames, hand-carved into ribbon-like lines. Reminiscent of both household objects and fairytale thrones for absurdist figures of authority, their shape and proportions resist use.