Vali Meyers

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By Celeste Hawkins

Recently I had the privilege of reading “Vali Myers” a Memoir by Gianni Menichetti. This was a beautiful recollection of his life in ‘the valley’, Italy, with the Australian born artist, highlighting his dedication to both her and the hundreds of animals that they nurtured. Vali had the courage and confidence to live a life uniquely her own and minimal restriction. She put her animals before anything and only did her detailed drawings under gaslight at night whilst the animals were asleep. She had a close affinity with a fox she lovingly named called ‘foxie’, an animal that she had tamed after it was separated from its mother. She loved all animals, even the mice. Gianni was so clearly devoted to Vali and the Valley in Ill Porto, that he mentions that despite real physical hardship and trials in their relations at times, he could rarely fault her. In moments when the whole valley flooded or during her travels, she would be clinging to one of her few possessions, her highly  detailed drawings. Vali travelled regularly, exhibiting work and making connections with an array of fascinating individuals. She was a regular visitor at the Chelsea Hotel. Short films were made, documenting theses times. All the while, devoted Gianni took care of the Valley in her absence. I strongly recommend a read of this memoir and a search of other visual material on her life.

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