Perth based artist Francesca Gnagnarella will launch her new body of work with an exhibition entitled Promise of Spring held in the enviable spaces of interior design studio Seven Willow Designs.
Gnagnarella, who favours utilising acrylic and gold leaf on canvas to create her abstract landscapes, has painted a series of pieces “inspired by the new life, energy and green growth that comes with the beginning of spring.” Her style interprets landscapes loosely. She exaggerates colour, form and texture to “try to capture an essence of place and to bring a feeling onto the canvas.” Think brilliant coral sunsets, splashes of gold and vibrant greens.
For Gnagnarella, springtime brings a much-needed energy after the winter. She recognises beauty in the light and seeks to translate that “luminous sensation” onto canvas. “I want to represent the glowing light that makes winter days’ harsh reflection dissipate, leaving a warm glow and gradual romance lingering in the lightly hued skies,” she states.
For Promise of Spring, Gnagnarella has teamed up with interior designer Sharon Wiley of Seven Willow Designs to present an exhibition that departs from a traditional, white cube gallery setting. Each painting will be hanging in a recreated home-like scenario. “For me,” explains Gnagnarella, “art completely ties a room together and creates a visual focal point that can significantly elevate a room.”
It should come as no surprise, then, to hear that Gnagnarella’s own apartment is filled with art. It is a modern space and, in Francesca’s words, “would be almost sterile in its contemporary whiteness if it wasn’t for all my colourful artworks taking over the house, and the many sentimental items and cherished furniture collected during the years!”. Hanging her work in her own apartment and creating styled rooms is important to her as an artist, providing an opportunity for clients to picture her pieces in their own spaces.
Gnagnarella’s gallery apartment is home to many unique pieces of furniture and trinkets that she has collected when travelling or exploring antique stores. She favours “pieces with a story that often contrast against the contemporary paintings.” She continues: “I absolutely adore when an antique piece of furniture collides with a striking postmodern painting in the perfect mix!”.
This love of contrasting contemporary art with antiques emerged during her uni days. She recalls a day spent in Varese, a small town not far from Milan, for a one-day-only art immersion with her best friend. They jumped on a train from Rome to arrive at an 18th Century villa that houses an incredible collection of contemporary art. “I remember reading a comment by Giuseppe Panza, founder of the art collection, who said that if a modern artwork sits well above a beautiful antique piece it means that it is a really good painting.”
Her apartment (above) is what you’d expect of an artist: great tonal combinations, deeply personal but with objective appeal. “Home is like a museum of oneself, and we are all artists in our own way, arranging each corner of our homes to tell a story about our personality, habits, tastes and beliefs,” she says. It’s a lovely way to think about home and the spaces we carve for ourselves.
The Promise of Spring opens on Thursday 10 August from 6-8pm, please RSVP to email@example.com to attend. The show continues until 10 September with the studio open Tuesday to Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 10-4. You can follow Francesca Gnagnarella on Facebook or check out her website here.
Images courtesy of Francesca Gnagnarella.