Through a largely collaborative practice, Angelica Bollettinari’s work spans curatorial, educational and artistic projects, which often have a socially engaged and participatory aspect. Since 2017 she has co-run resina, a platform for research based between London and Ferrara. resina’s work is invested in developing feminist, environmentally sustainable and non-human-centric practices through slow-paced alternative education experiments and residencies.



Curing Tme (2022) is a multi-disciplinary project which re-reads the Greek myth of Phaeton and the nymphs Heliades, interweaving historical and mythological narratives to explore natural ecosystems and environmental issues of the Po Valley in the north of Italy.  So far this project has taken the form of writings, foraging and poplar bud salve making workshops, and a short film currently under development.

Set along the Po river, the myth sees seven nymphs turning into poplar trees whilst mourning the death of their brother Phaeton, killed by Zeus after an unsuccessful attempt to use the chariot of his father Helios, during which he nearly destroys the planet, causing fires and draughts of an unprecedented scale.  After this event, the nymphs are transformed into poplar trees on the river’s banks and during the metamorphosis their tears become resin secreted from the tree.

This myth is linked to the local presence of amber stones in the area of the Po Delta since the time of the Etruscans who were traders of this precious fossilized resin. Of particular inspiration are the magical and therapeutic properties that have been attributed to amber since ancient times and in Curing Time this plays together with themes of melancholy, mourning and healing in relation to personal and collective traumas and anxieties.

Contrapposed to the resinous healing properties of resin and amber, in Curing Time we encounter the synthetic resin used for the production of plastics, and the haunting presence of the petrochemical plant LyondellBasell, rising about 8 km away from the river, in the city of Ferrara. The plant has been producing plastic since the 1950s, and is where the process of plastic polymerization was invented by Giulio Natta in 1953. 

Exploring various aspects of the life of poplar trees, the most common tree in the area, Curing Time reinterprets a traditional story, a becoming-tree which sees women being wrapped in bark until this suffocates their last words, and revisits this myth through a multi-species lens. 

In this reading, the metamorphosis is seen as a dismantling of the human and a becoming entangled with others in a more than human world. From the healing properties of poplar’s resinous buds, to the ability of their roots to absorb and eliminate microplastics from the environment, this story inspires and questions present and future ways to collaborate across species in order  to survive on a planet that is falling apart.


Click here to read more about the workshops realised between Feb - May 2022 as part of the “Curing Time” research project.