Monday, September 13, 2010

Introducing Svetlana De Gennaro - Workshop Participant, Adelaide, South Australia

Australian Landscape’, Svetlana De Gennaro

Svetlana De Gennaro

Artist Statement

Quoting Papastergiadis,
Cultural identity is…defined by the way ideas and practices which have crossed frontiers find new homes; it is a way of coming to terms with the past without ignoring the pressures of the present, an expression of belonging which does not lock the individual into a single place. The dream of a single home is gone, only to be replaced by the daunting promise of multiple affiliations.1

Within the context of my art practice I examine the issues emanating from the transition to a new physical, social and cultural environment, geographically and/or emotionally distant from “home”. My enquiries are based partially on my personal experiences, as I am a recent immigrant to Australia, and previously living an expatriate lifestyle in several European countries. A lifestyle of moving through different cultures, even if by choice, plus working as a professional interpreter before I commenced the study of art, cultivated in me compelling attitudes of empathy and understanding for cultural diversity and multicultural existence. Australia, my present home is a multi-cultural society and a “fair and lucky country” according to a well constructed myth promoted by popular media. This is far from reality and many Australian artists, of any colour, refer to this issue in their art practice. ‘Genuine social justice and equality are still far from a reality, and the struggle continues’.2 Aboriginal people are exiles in their own land and the prejudice and patronising attitudes of the dominant culture towards Indigenous Australians and other ethnic/cultural groups, is still a major contemporary problem within Australian society today. Such attitudes often involve the demonisation and dehumanisation of “inferior others” to justify exploitation. In my painting ‘Australian Landscape’, I referred to the particular place of South Australia known as Tandanya, meaning the land of the red kangaroo, according to the stories of the local Kaurna people, as a reminder that the vast and harsh environment of this land necessitates ecological sustainability as well as social and cultural balance.

1 N Papastergiadis, Spatial aesthetics: Art, place and the everyday, Rivers Oram Press, London, 2006, p.102
2 W Caruana, Aboriginal Art, Thames and Hudson, 1993, p.17

Experiences of Collaboration

Within this project we chose to use “chain” collaboration, whereby I am working on Dr Irmina van Niele’s print as my inspiration for further experimentation and communication, whilst in turn Lindi Harris chose my work for her explorations. The Border Crossing Art Project is an opportunity to work with artists of different origins and life experiences and share our views and discover points of connection. I find this exercise is a constructive approach to exchange of knowledge, in a contemporary global environment of constant mobility.

Short Biography

I arrived in Australia in 2004, whereupon I made the decision to commit fully to a Professional Visual Arts career and undertook studies that resulted in achieving my BA in Visual Arts from Uni SA in 2009.

I am currently completing an Honours degree at Uni SA with the intention to continue with further post graduate studies.

I also hold a second degree, BA in Education, with specialisation in languages and have significant experience of working as a professional Interpreter and Translator.

Text written by Svetlana De Gennaro

The Earth's waters are both boundaries and pathways for peoples, objects and ideas.
Fumio Nanjo

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi all. How are you?