A Rome native, Maddalena Forcella lives and works in Mexico City where she has grown her expertise in textile and dyeing processes for over two decades resulting in a comprehensive body of textile work. After receiving a five-year training in Art restoration at the Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno, Roma, Italia — Zona Arqueológicas de Roma, Italia (1982-1987), the Italian artist moved to Mexico in 1990, where she studied Textile Design at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City. There she discovered what would become the focus of her work under the ongoing mentorship of masters Michael Garcia, Ana Roquero and Androna Linartas as well as indigenous Mexican artisans.
Forcella’s personal work using time-honored weaving and dyeing techniques, reflects the artist’s multilayered culture and knowledge acquired both from academic and empiric research. The artist is able to achieve a wide spectrum of colors, hues, and saturations through eco-dyeing, using local plants, bark, flowers, and insects. Her tapestries weave a symbolic thread that connects the traditional techniques to contemporary aesthetics. Her work expresses a special alchemy of complex, subtle color combinations and textures.
Today Forcella’s textile work has been exhibited in numerous museums around the world including El Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City, the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, Cer Modern in Ankara, and The Fashion and Textile Museum in London. Forcella’s work was also featured in international textile art events such as the International Triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland and the Hangzhou Triennale of Fiber Art in China.
Deeply committed to the people she works with, Maddalena has lived and worked many years with the small weavers’ communities in the area of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Today she actively supports the indigenous artisans and their rarefied expertise, working as a consultant on behalf of nonprofit organizations and governmental institutions. She co-founded several cooperatives in the region and is dedicated to empowering women and supporting the revitalization of ancient, disappearing techniques. In addition to her personal work, Forcella runs a design studio with the local artisans offering home textile and linen products through selected resellers around the world.