Daniela’s Story

Daniela Forster has lived a rich and varied life, and is a creative force sans pareille. Born in Bavaria, Germany, she completed her higher education in the USA (obtaining a BA in Philosophy, German Literature and Humanistic Psychology, and then an MA in Film Studies). There followed a glittering career in design, in both the fashion and film industries. Today, she is very much a renaissance woman who sets her own agenda for personal achievement.

After studying the Sciences and Medicine for four years before transferring to Film School at Columbia University, New York (where she worked extensively with “Auteur Theory” founder and respected film critic, Andrew Sarris), she also began to develop a deep interest in the relationship between “the physical and the spiritual”, influenced by the works of Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Giambattista Della Porta and Galileo, to name just a few.

Having immersed herself in intensive Siddha Yoga practices in New York, over the years she also attended various retreats at Ashrams in Ganeshpuri, Kerala and Poona in India, and visited Potala in Tibet.

Daniela’s spiritual studies and extensive travels brought her into contact with the Eastern Mystics – Deepak Chopra, Mother Meera and Sai Baba; and the metaphysical author Stuart Wilde, among others: and she was also privileged to have a private Darshan with the Dalai Lama.

During a retreat, whilst still a university student, Daniela met the Film Director Bernardo Bertolucci who admired the head-piece she had designed and asked her to create a few prototypes for him. These were subsequently used in his Oscar-winning film “The Last Emperor”.

During the early 1990s, Daniela’s unique head-dresses, tiaras, hats and accessories (designed for Dior, St Laurent, Lagerfeld and Givenchy) graced the fashion runways of New York, Paris and London; and were best-sellers at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, and other select boutiques.

Super-models, actresses, rock stars, celebrities, and many of the European nobility have all been adorned by Daniela’s “wearable art”.

After moving to London in 1992, Daniela worked extensively with Swarovski for several years, designing best-selling, ornate, crystal handbags and jewellery.

She was commissioned by the Italian designer Laura Biagiotti to design a unique head-dress for the launch of her perfume “Venezia”, which is still on exhibit in the Fashion Wing at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

In collaboration with Austrian artist, poet and singer Andre Heller, she created a six foot “Sleeping Goddess” crystal sculpture for Swarovski’s permanent museum exhibit “Kristallwelten” (Crystal Worlds), in Austria.

In the mid-1990s, Daniela decided to take her own “retreat”, and she moved into a grotto on the crest of Mount Epomeo, on the Island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, Italy. She wished to focus on her writing and her collaging.

Overlooking the tiny village of Santa Maria del Monte, she also started composing music, and today, her spiritually-influenced symphony is nearing completion.

She received an endless stream of visitors during these fifteen months: including, of course, many tourists and locals, who were curious about this colourful artist who had moved in to their community; several Catholic nuns and a Bishop; a famous American news anchor; an Italian Count; a couple of Tibetan monks who stayed for several weeks; and even a local Mafioso!

Not surprisingly, Daniela will have some wonderful stories to tell when her memoirs are published.

Despite all these “interruptions”, she continued to study and to write, as well as developing her art and music. She still travelled extensively in Europe and Asia, but kept returning to Ischia, after settling in a small villa on the island for another five years.

When it was time to leave, Daniela packed two small bags of her personal belongings, and donated everything else she owned (including her art) to an orphanage on Ischia.

In 2001, Daniela returned to New York City just two weeks before 9/11. She volunteered for eight months, counselling the victims in the aftermath of this tragedy, and developed a close relationship with a Swedish man working in New York, whose life, like that of so many at the time, was irrevocably changed when the Twin Towers were attacked. She stayed on in New York for another four years and continued to paint and to write.

Daniela’s art was entering a new phase, and she sold many pieces to private collectors who were drawn to her unique combination of symbolism, dimension, semantics, light and texture. She also gifted many pieces to “other creatives” whom she met along the way.

Following her heart and intuition, Daniela moved to Sweden into a beautiful old house in Dalsland which, once renovated, she planned to turn into a writers’ and artists’ retreat. She continued to paint and to sell her art to discerning collectors worldwide. Her works of art were exhibited at Hans-Jurgen Mueller’s Galerie Artlantis in Stuttgart, Germany from 2006 until his tragic death in 2009.