Giorgia Gentile, 26, is a young woman from Matera, in Southern Italy. She moved to Nottingham in 2020 with a dream: spreading her love of art in her new home away from home.
After graduating in architecture in Venice in 2018, she planned to move to Germany, but a “mystical crisis” after graduation forced her to go back to her hometown, a period that lasted for two years. During this period, she started approaching art more systematically, which saw the creation of her first collection.
The real epiphany arrived when Giorgia visited Thailand; a trip that allowed her to solidify her passion and interest for the arts, pushing her to reconsider her entire life goals.
“I have always been close to the arts. When I was younger, I was into abstract art. Also, my dad is a great art enthusiast and an art collector, always looking for new artists. His passion influenced me, but my technic and style are the results of my own experience”.
“Thailand was a revelation for me. I met people who don’t have much and I wanted to celebrate them though my work”.
Her technique was born thanks to these memories and people she met, which she wanted to physically fixate on the canvas, by delineating the main lines and with the use of sustainable materials, including nails, cotton threads and wood.
Speaking about the philosophy behind her work, Giorgia said: “I believe that things happen casually, but for a reason. I follow the signs that my life is giving me. When I met my boyfriend during this period of crisis, I saw in him the answer I was looking for. When I realised that making art was my future, he was transferred to Nottingham for work and I felt this was a great opportunity for me to spread my art in the UK”.
For Giorgia, this was not an easy decision to make. She left her country with nothing else but its arts and its willingness to growth as an artist. However, the coronavirus pandemic has had a toll on her ability to promote her art and build contacts on the ground.
“My experience in Nottingham so far has been definitely limited by the effects of the pandemic… social media is very important to promote my art. I have people from Nottingham who follow me and appreciate my work. However, I think it is difficult if you cannot communicate 100% with the public.”
Moreover, approaching people virtually has turned out to be a daunting experience for Giorgia during lockdown.
“People on Instagram tend to be superficial. They like a picture, but they are not always willing to discover what is behind an artist’s work. I am new to Nottingham, so for now I need to see and wait for this lockdown to be eased.”
However, lockdown has also been a way for artists like Giorgia to look more inwards and to have the time to explore and develop new projects. A moment of re-birth, both personal and artistic.
“The moral of this story is that you often find yourself stuck in situations that do not depend on you (like coronavirus). But if you find a moment of dialogue with your passion, you also find a small opening, an idea that can make you move forward”.
Speaking about her future project, she says: “In the short term, I am planning to display one of my painting in London. It is an exhibition I have planned for months, but with lockdown has been impossible to organise, but it is definitely going to happen.
“My greatest wish is to travel and collect memories and experiences I can ‘imprint’ in my paintings and maybe having my own gallery and exhibition to promote my art.
“Through travelling, I wish to be able to communicate my art and show cultures people might have not considered before.
“For now, I hope Nottingham and its people could appreciate my work and the sensitivity with which I present it”.
By Irene Bisoni