(Click on image to view a
Trento, Northern Italy, in the Folk Museum of Trentini
Life at San Michelle All’Adige, I saw ‘Gli Spaventa
Orsi’ – Bear Scarers.
were tall, wooden, heavy sculptured figures of
Austro-Hungarian soldiers, Hapsburg Forresters and
Gamekeepers that were once set up throughout the region
to scare marauding bears, and in particular to protect
the village bee hives.
the time I was painting for Il Centro Di Ecologia
Alpina, Monte Bondone. Recently six
bears from Slovenia had been released on the Adamello
Massif across the valley. I hoped in vain
to find traces of them during his walks in the
contrast to the solid structures now in the museum, I
recalled the frail, temporary Bird Scarers that I had
seen in Indonesian rice fields; woven leaf and plant
materials hanging from bamboo poles. I decided to
combine the two images.
masks were suggested by my host’s private
This comprised of local masks still worn at
festivals through the Alps.
Bear Scarers are masks and natural objects collected on
my travels, or by friends. The plant
material was painted at the Royal Botanic Garden,