Bella Hunt & DDC are a duo of French-American sculptors living and working in Provence Known for their ambitious, often collaborative, sculptural installations and interventions, their practice sets out to blur the boundaries between the minor and the major arts; promote domestic art and the handmade and renew a relationship between decoration and design.
Bella Hunt & DDC are also founders of Southway Studio- an interdisciplinary residency, collective of sculptural artists and installation situated in a Marseille villa.
Works by Bella Hunt & DDC collapse the decorative and philosophical preoccupations of many historical artistic movements. Permeations from and not limited to the esoteric, English and Celtic folklore, medieval and Gothic art history and Art Nouveau all contribute in some part to their aesthetic. However, Bella Hunt & DDC continue to pay particular homage to the principles and aesthetic crucial to the English Arts and Crafts movements and the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, from which they borrow their surnames. Emmanuelle Luciani ( Bella) plays with the name William Hunt, DDC – for Dante di Calce or Dante de la Chaux – refers to Dante Gabriele Rossetti, arguably the the movement’s most famed trecentist.
Bella Hunt & DDC's sculptures and ceramics are rooted in historical fantasies and uchronias, drawing on ancient and medieval forms and popular culture, from fantasy to car tuning, while eschewing any inclination toward classical purity.
Bella Hunt & DDC look to the Mycenaean, Minoan, Hittite, Etruscan, or early medieval worlds, drawing inspiration from the forms and motifs of eras and civilisations often overlooked by the general public. Using ancient techniques and processes such as stucco-lime and ceramic, the duo focusses on a practice of creation around objects such as vessels, wall-based sculpture, fountains, and a fantastic figurative statuary, with organic accents.
Bella Hunt studied Fine Art at Les Beaux-Arts in Marseille and Art History at Università di Roma in Rome. Dante Di Calce is self-taught, and comes from a family of craftsmen and artists.
The Southway Studio operates from a converted home in Marseille which attempts to retain the characteristics of its urban history as a place for craftsmen and workers. Also running as an artist residency, the studio and exhibition space offers a rich cultural space driven by the objective of reflecting on the interactions between art and craft. Following the example of the English Arts & Crafts movement initiated by William Morris in the 19th Century, the group of artists within Southway Studio design and produce works of art for the domestic setting.
Exhibitions include History of Fantasy Part II (an otherworldly sight) Bella Hunt & DDC + Southway Studio, Cob Gallery, London, UK (2023); Drive to Survive, Saint Anne Gallery, Paris, France (2023); Uncanny Depths, curated by Emmanuelle Luciani, MAMO, Marseille, France (2022); Species of spaces, curated by Alexandra Romy, Miami, USA (2022); Objets Modernes, collection Charles et Marie-Laure de Noailles, Villa Noailles, Hyères, France (2022); Weirdness Boudoir, curated by Emmanuelle Luciani, Art - O Rama, Marseille, France (2022); Royal Fantasy, curated by Emmanuelle Luciani, Sainte-Anne Gallery, Paris, France (2021); History of Fantasy, curated by Emmanuelle Luciani, Everyday Gallery, Anvers, Belgium (2021); Too fast too knight, curated by Emmanuelle Luciani and Daniel Fuller, A. Romy Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland (2021); Anima Mundi,curated by Emmanuelle Luciani, Manifesta 13, Abbaye Saint-Victor, Marseille, France (2021); Les Chemins du Sud curated by Emmanuelle Luciani, Musée régional d’art contemporain, Sérignan, France (2019); Santibelli, curated by Emmanuelle Luciani & Charlotte Cosson dialogue avec la collection Pierre Bergé, Musée Estrine, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France (2019); Southway Austin with Andrew Humke, Austin, Texas, USA (2019); DOMESTIC – Like Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, curated by Emmanuelle Luciani & Charlotte Cosson, galerie Truth & Consequences, Geneva, Switzerland (2017); Pre-Historic, curated by Emmanuelle Luciani & Charlotte, Cosson Leclere centre d’art, Marseille, France (201