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Written and drawn between the spring and summer of 2012, is the longest among Daniela’s stories from the pre-Love period. It is only deceptively conventional in its narrative structure, as it does not do away with the symbolic or dream-like element altogether. It centres on a woman in her early fifties during two days of her life while she goes about trying to tie a few loose ends.

The story is split in two distinct halves – the first taking place in a theatre, precisely on the day of 6th November 2011. The second half, skipping to three days later, sees the main character moodily leaving a café, then during her walk back from the café. The denouement takes place when she walks past the theatre featured in the first half of the story… at which point the two halves tie in.

“The alchemy of giving and taking: what would happen to the guardian of a metaphorical basket always full of gifts if the whole of humanity could take from it?”

This was the catchphrase used to promote the exhibition featuring the drawings from this graphic story, shown in Turin in May 2012. The art show was organised by Associazione Tedacà and included in the programme of Turin International Book Fair, 2012.

Deciding to improve on a story of which an earlier version (from late 2011) already existed, the second version of The Gift Basket (March-April 2012) is a slimmed-down reinterpretation of its prior incarnation.

The Gift Basket is Daniela’s most blatantly metaphorical story to date. The only character featured in the story is the guardian of the titular basket. Initially a little girl who grows to middle age during the course of the story, the short graphic novel charts her progress as those around her freely take gifts from her magic container, which is always full. This minimal, essential tale has the flavour of a play featuring a single mime actress accompanied by just one prop: the basket.