Welcome to GIBBIN HOUSE!

When I first started this blog about the misadventures of a nascent author, I had only a small novel under my belt, titled Gibbin House. The building that bears the name is a fictitious postwar era safe-house, as many might have existed, and the London home of my motley crew of exiles. I could not anticipate then the degree to which I would join its ranks of writers and artists, but since publishing my book in 2011, I have had the greatest privilege of opening my own art gallery and of exploring my love of the written word through visual poetry and paper sculptures. Yet much like the girl who first started blogging two years ago, I suspect I don't know what I'm doing half the time. As such, Gibbin House remains a refuge for ramblings...and on occasion a haven for little triumphs.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Mariposa" (Butterfly) - My latest KONZEPTION Installation for the novel "Humboldt's Riches" - PART 1

As of October 12th, I am officially underway in my KONZEPTION cross-pollinating literature and art project.  "Se Vende" led into the theme.  "Prologue" served as the page of inception.  Now "Mariposa" begins to introduce some of the main themes in the novel, which I can't wait to start wrestling with over the next few months.  I will talk more about naturalism and Alexander von Humboldt, the Prussian explorer who inspired the title of my new book, in the next post.  For now I will leave you with this description and images from the new art installation.

The subject is Amazonian butterflies: mariposas.   The installation depicts them as biological nomenclature hovering amidst a lattice-like net and sculptural 'foliage', to which cling crystalline vellum butterflies, transparent yet veined with white ink and pencil.  In "Humboldt's Riches", the main characters are a family of young biologists who have journeyed into Peru's Apurimac region to run an uncle's hacienda hotel, with the idea of continuing their study of butterflies there.  Once arrived, they endure the hardships of living in this remote wilderness and start to see hints of the impending dangers that will catapult them into the novel's adventure,  Yet all the while they cannot resist delving into the forest for their quarry, the variety of vibrant papilios, some rare and uncatalogued, as large as their spread hands. 

Note: my parents were equally obsessed with capturing and cataloguing butterflies and moths (and a fair share of insects) while we lived in the rainforest.  I grew up with these frames, which traveled with us from Peru to Germany to the United States, even when other important objects (all my baby toys spring to mind) were left behind.  As a young girl in Munich, my parents even raised a specific species of domestic butterfly, just to see it hatch in the thousands in our small studio apartment...but more on that in my 'Germany' book)

The installation, as seen presently, offers a depiction of this butterfly theme.  Only when the novel is read months down the line, will the installation offer a different perspective on the subject, begging the question of who is being chased, who exactly is trapped in that lattice-like net among the sculptural green???


Carola Perla Chosen to Contribute to InterArtive Magazine's Art & Mobility Issue

As those of you who have read Gibbin House or seen my art installations can attest, immigration, travel, assimilation, and the effects of language on identity lie at the core of much of what I do.
So naturally, when I saw this call for prosecti from InterARTive for its special October "Art & Mobility" issue a couple months ago, I really wanted to be a part of it.  I did so for several reasons, not least of them being that the theme of mobility plays such a central role in my writing and paper art, and  that this would also be the first legitimately academic medium in which to share my  work.  I applied and was over the moon to find the brief email notice in my inbox a few weeks ago, announcing that I would be among the amazing roster of international artists featured.
InterARTive describes the idea behind this issue in the following words "to reflect on the multiple aspects of cultural and artistic mobility and to open the way towards a transdisciplinary field of study that increasingly claims its place in the analysis and research of the social and cultural dynamics of the contemporary world."
In simpler terms, the world is changing.  For centuries we have defined our art and aesthetics by our cultural values and social constructs.  But in the 21st century, in this global and 'mobile' society, we no longer have distinct aesthetic or cultural boundaries.  Obviously this is not a new idea.  But while most people will focus on the benefits of the multi-cultural melting pot results we see in our modern experience, there is another side, a tale of displacement, transience, homelessness, resettlement and asylum.  Art has explored such issues in recent years as mass-manufacturing, globalization, etc...so it must now tackle the most immediate topic of immigration, transculturation, and the recalibration of self in a transnational world, as it concerns our emotional, political, and ideological existence.
I consider myself an emblem of this experience, a child of many cultures, a citizen of many countries, with each foot in a different place, never quite sure of where I belong, because my skin, my language, or my social behavior will forever tag me with the label of 'other', no matter where I am.  More than any single factor in my life, this state of not belonging coupled with my appreciation of every culture that lives in me, will forever color everything I create. 
Thus, inclusion in this issue is a great show of acceptance of my work, as it pertains to the topic and to the conceptual art community at large.  It means my message, however transmitted via the whimsical flurry of white paper and light, is being heard, is valid.
To read more on my "Lichtsprache" (illuminated language), follow the link:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Four Points Contemporary: Latest Exhibition Selection

This past August, I had the honor of being selected to the Four Points Contemporary's 1st Annual All Media International Juried exhibition.  The online exhibition, which seeks to discover promising talent from among emerging international artists, runs now through September 30th, 2013.  Visit the link to see the complete exhibit: Four Points Contemporary Current Exhibitions .

The honor tops off an amazing summer of 'Little Victories', from Bronze in the Art Ascent Magazine "Emergence' Competition to 'Best in Show' at the Foundry Art Centre's 'Papercuts' exhibit, as well as selection in the Vargas Gallery's '2013 South Florida Group' Show and the American Art Jury's 'Gallery of Invited Artists' Salon, as well as a feature article in South Florida's Sun Post.  On the literature front, 'Gibbin House' has also had its little moment in the sun, with reviews, interviews and author spotlights, and giveaways.

In all, it's only been six months since I began an active push towards making my art more public, and the response goes to show what can come from some concentrated efforts.  As I begin 'Humboldt's' Riches' and the 'KONZEPTION' series, I foresee this forward trajectory slowing, being that writing and making art will once again consume my free time.  Let's see what the next six months bring...


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Carola Perla Author Interview @ MoonShine Art Spot

This month I had the pleasure to speak with MoonShine Art Spot in a special author interview, released in conjunction with the Summer Giveaway Hop 2013.   I had the chance to address my inspiration for "Gibbin House" and other personal experiences that made it into the book.  Here is an excerpt from the interview.  To read in its entirety, follow the link:
In your debut novel “Gibbin House”, the protagonist is a young Romanian woman who is forced to leave her home after the Second World War and start a new life in London.   Is this story of exile based on anything that happened to you?
To some extent, yes, although I was much younger than Anka when I left Communist-era Romania in 1979.  Five years earlier, my father had traveled from his native Peru to Timisoara, to study biology at the Polytechnic University.  He hadn’t been there long when he went to a party and met a leggy blonde with John Lennon glasses.  He barely spoke a word of Romanian, but he was beautiful and brilliant in after-shave and bell bottom jeans.  It was a typical hippie love story, but for the fact that the Ceausescu regime forbade relationships with foreigners... to continue...
Did you have your mother in mind when you wrote about Anka’s journey to London?
Naturally.  Here is this young woman – my mother - with an old suitcase and a baby in her arms, without a penny to her name, having never eaten spaghetti or watched a scary movie, in clothes she’s sewn herself, getting on a plane, and seeing her own mother, as far as she knows, for the last time in her life...to continue...
Do you see migration as a central theme to “Gibbin House”?
Certainly one of them.  I’m interested in how people find a ‘home’, what that means.  It would have been a very important consideration after the war, with so many homes destroyed, families separated, political boundaries redrawn, deportations forced on various ethnic groups.  How do people recapture ‘home’ after all that?...to continue...
Did any other personal experiences find their way into the book?
Like most authors, I write what I know, mostly in terms of relationships between people. Anka’s feelings in a new country are very familiar to me; her inability to speak mirrors my many months spent in silence every time I moved to a country where I did not know the language.  Her close connection with her mother is also something where I could inject elements of myself.   And of course there’s the romantic plotline...to continue...
To read the interview in its entirely, go to www.MoonShineArtSpot.blogspot.com

Friday, August 16, 2013

KONZEPTION: My New Literature/Art Project Unveiled!

Be the first to read up on my new series KONZEPTION, an unprecedented literature/art installation project, recently unveiled on August 10th, 2013 and scheduled to last through Summer 2014 with the completion of "Humboldt's Riches":

KONZEPTION – a cross-pollinating literary fiction and art installation project – aims to make a novel visually manifest by interpreting its creative process concurrent with its evolution, from inception to publication, through works of cut-paper sculpture and mixed media visual poetry installations.  The art works become inextricably linked to the written word with the novel’s opening lines, which are composed within the first piece in the series “Konzeption: Prologue”.  Subsequently, as the writing process continues, the novel’s themes and events inform new installations, while they in turn serve as springboards and incubators for later chapters. 

 KONZEPTION marries Carola Perla’s prose work with her sculptural ‘Lichtsprache’ – lighted cut-paper sculpture and visual poetry installations.  She created her first installation, “Off the Page” (2011), as a direct reaction to the hermetic process of writing her debut novel “Gibbin House”.  Her desire to visually celebrate the completion of this book led to further exploration in ‘lighted’ words and cut paper that incorporated published text as well as in situ ‘poetry chants’.  KONZEPTION  picks up where “Off the Page” left off, examining the birth of the novel instead.  The source here is the in-progress literary fiction novel “Humboldt’s Riches”, a semi-autobiographical Heart of Darkness that follows a young family’s escape from the remote Amazon region of Apurimac during Peru’s 1980 guerilla uprisings.

“Konzeption: Prologue”, written in a similar way to other ‘poetry chants’, sets the stage for this South American adventure story.  Breathlessly, it describes the dangerous task of driving in the Andes.  As a spontaneous composition, the prologue cannot be amended.  With no space for error, the artist is much like the Andean driver, maneuvering on a knife’s edge, aware that each carved word will irrevocably form part of the novel’s opening scene. Above the lines hangs the second sculptural element of the piece, a theatrical curtain that introduces this story.   Ruffled and fragile, with lace-like lattice cuts, the constructed white ‘curtain’ is meant to work simultaneously fragile as well as imposing and precarious in its weight and irregularity. Like an avalanche, with its frayed layers casting craggy shadows, the curtain portends the nebulous beginnings of something.

“Konzeption: Prologue” was unveiled on August 10, 2013, officially launching the KONZEPTION series that is projected for completion in summer 2014.  A special-edition photo book documenting the KONZEPTION project will be released as a companion to "Humboldt's Riches" upon publication. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Gibbin House Honored to Be Part of Prize in Closed The Cover's "Room to Read" Ebook Fundraiser Giveaway!

Support Girls Education and Literacy with This Great Fundraiser Giveaway!
August 15 - September 15 @ www.ClosedTheCover.com
A Small $5 Donation Enters You to Win a Prize Package that includes 
 15 free e-books  
by some of the best indie authors writing today

Follow the link to Closed The Cover' giveaway page to enter:

Closed The Cover is a superb book review website, dedicated to celebrating books and the written word.  It not only offers readers insightful and unbiased reviews, but also supports authors with opportunities like guest spots, interviews, and giveaways.  I've had the pleasure to be included on that front, and will always value the wonderful experience.

CTC's philosophy is perhaps most evident, however, in its  ongoing support of and campaigning for the "Room to Read" international child education program. 

This ebook giveaway is part of CTC's efforts to meet its 2013 fundraising goal of $500 for Room to Read, and I'm so honored to have been approached by CTC's founder Ashley LaMar about including Gibbin House as one of the ebooks in the prize package.

 I urge all my readers to support this worthy cause!!!

To learn more about ROOM TO READ, follow this link: www.RoomToRead.Org



To Find Ashley LaMar's review of Gibbin House:

Read my Guest Author Spotlight:


Friday, August 9, 2013

Are We in the Dark Ages?? What is Happening to the Safety of Women and Children Today...

Warning: Uncharacteristic Rant from a Concerned Artist

Dear readers,

As many of you will have done this morning, I watched the news report on the latest mass shooting in Dallas.

A tragedy indeed.  What stands out to me more than anything, however, is the fact that all the victims involved are women and children.  Just as they were a few days earlier in California, and so many countless times in recent months.  I don't want to think about how often my hometown Miami has made the national news in this regard in the past week alone...

Now, it would be easy to blame the guns involved.  As a fervent supporter of gun control, my first reaction is the same.  But this time, it feels as though this sad incident is part of a larger story.  I remember every other time my stomach has lurched in recent weeks, reading about virginity tests in Georgia, women being held captive in basements, teens unnecessarily tasered to death, girls kidnapped or bullied into suicide, torrential rape threats on Twitter for putting Jane Austen on a bank note...and that's just the stuff that made the news in July!

Well, I step back to look at this wider picture and I start to wonder: are guns are really the only key to this spate of violence?  And why aren't more people outraged?  How is it we are still debating reproductive rights in a presidential election in 2012?

I realize my opinion is neither novel, nor, in its presented brevity, very academic. I could go into further debate, but rather than dwell on the unacceptable state of affairs where the rights of women and children are concerned, be it in India, Afghanistan, Zanzibar, South Africa, Georgia, England, Canada, the United States, etc...I want to focus on the good being done, on the small steps of insistent people who believe change is possible in our cyber-isolated/mobile phone-tranquilized world...

Let's make these ladies proud...
Example #1: Kristen Gillibrand's Military Reform Bill on Sexual Assault


Here's hoping Congress follows through.  I will make it a point on this blog, as I did at its inception, to highlight cases as  I come across them...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Moon Shine Art Spot: Book Hop GIBBIN HOUSE by...

Just a couple days left - Contest ends August 7th!

Moon Shine Art Spot: Book Hop GIBBIN HOUSE by...: Summer Giveaway Hop 2013 ~ Over 120 blog giveaways Gibbin House  by Carola Perola  (1 print copy autographed) “Gibbin House” a novel by C...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Moon Shine Art Spot: Book Hop GIBBIN HOUSE by...

Moon Shine Art Spot: Book Hop GIBBIN HOUSE by...: Summer Giveaway Hop 2013 ~ Over 120 blog giveaways Gibbin House  by Carola Perola  (1 print copy autographed) “Gibbin House” a novel by C...

SUMMER GIVEAWAY HOP 2013: Win a Signed Copy of "Gibbin House" at MoonShineArtSpot!

Hi everyone,

Visit MOON SHINE ART SPOT  www.moonshineartspot.blogspot.com for the chance to win an autographed copy of "Gibbin House"!
Moon Shine Art Spot has been kind enough to sign us up for the Summer Giveaway Hop 2013, hosted by I Am Reader and Bookhounds, running now through August 7th, 2013.
In addition, the book review blog has posted a great candid interview with yours truly, along with lots of info on Gibbin House.  I'll be featuring parts of the interview in later posts, but for now, enjoy the book hop and good luck!


Monday, July 29, 2013

LITTLE TRIUMPHS: Winning Best In Show at the Foundry Art Centre

"Se Vende" is Awarded Top Prize and Solo Show in the "Paper Cuts" Exhibit!

Warning: Candid Observations of a Personal Nature Below...

Dear Readers: earlier this Spring, I felt a sudden urgency, as I had never before, to realize my artistic ambitions in a concrete way...oh, I had written the novel, made my art, held a reading here, a signing there, managed not without considerable feet-dragging at last to build a website...but my sporadic efforts quite plainly lacked focus, cohesion...I was keenly aware that for the most part I had dropped the ball these last two years, for a number of reasons, which were ultimately immaterial except for the fact that they had all conspired to distract me from my purpose.  I was left with no other choice than to face my failures and roll up my sleeves...

Going forth, my plan for 2013 centered on two main tasks: 1) to garner reviews for Gibbin House as a lead-in to my next book, and 2) to gain acceptance into art exhibits outside my gallery.

By April, my first task was well underway, and as I continue to work with a host of kind reviewers, I welcome readers to message me here or on my Carola Perla Website with any testimonials they're willing to share!

For the second, I scoured possible gallery and online exhibits.  It was not the easiest thing - my pieces were too large for most, the wrong medium for others.  Moreover, I was desperate to find an exhibit that celebrated paper and sculpture together - I wanted to see my work next to my peers, as a confirmation that I too belonged.  Naturally, when I stumbled across the Foundry Art Centre's Call to Artists for 'Paper Cuts' I instantly regarded it as 'the' event I wanted to join.  Cut-paper exhibits are shockingly rare, and the space seemed so beautiful - I told myself that acceptance here would be the ultimate sign of  accomplishment in the task I had set out for myself. 

By the time the center's response letter arrived in June, I had already placed in another group show and had won an art magazine prize, so I told myself that it wouldn't be the worst thing if I didn't get in.  The envelope was so thin, I reasoned its contents could have no other message for me.  But then it did.

Fast forward three weeks, the short time span I had in which to ship my pieces and arrange my own travel to St. Louis.  As I have confided to my friends, I flew over there with the sensation of never having traveled before, much as I had navigating my way around Tallahassee during college orientation when I was eighteen and away from home for the first time.  It was strange, to be getting dressed for the exhibit opening, as if for the prom, going to see my work in a new space, all grown-up, heading towards this seminal moment which I had awaited with such anticipation, validation of me as an artist...and I was doing it all on my own.  Once again I stood in Anka's shoes, a shy little thing, waiting for the reality of my situation to sink in. 

The space was indeed lovely, a converted train car factory that still had the original steel lifts - in the second world war it had assembled torpedoes - with lots of natural light and high ceilings.  Any worries for the state my pieces might be in (thank you, fedex) immediately subsided as I spied them at the end of the long gallery.  They had been installed with great care and lit with just the right degree of intensity...from here on out, I told myself, I could deem the experience a success.  Being there is all I had wanted, it's all I had worked towards.  I even managed to mingle, to ingratiate myself a little with fellow artists, pose for a picture, not drop my wine.  It was all turning out better than I could have hoped. 

And then they called out my name.  Going Solo Award for "Se Vende" by Carola Perla.  The piece I had done in honor of my family, as a tribute to Casa Marsano, an expression of my love for all things Peru.  The jury could not begin to imagine the deeply personal significance of the house motif or the Spanish poem, its allusions to Chabuca Granda, dust and garua, fairytales and broken dreams...they could not know and yet they thought it deserving.

Now, I know there are exhibits around the country every day, meaning that artists are winnings awards every day, and so I will not let this little triumph go to my head.  There is so much work...SO MUCH WORK ahead of me.  But I will keep the feeling of this first victory in a safe place, to call on when doubt sets in, as it always will.  Because it is a beautiful, necessary thing to work for yourself, to make art that feeds your own soul and gives you a pure purpose...I worked happily in the shroud of anonymity for nearly a decade, as I felt I should.  But every decade or so, it's nice to receive an accolade, a stamp of approval...the community of directors, curators, and artists at the Foundry Art Centre were wonderfully kind and welcoming, and for their support of my artist's journey I thank them...

On to the next one...

For those of you in the St Louis area: please note that the exhibit runs through until September 27, 2013.  It features beautiful work in cut paper as well as book art. 

Here are some photos from the 'Paper Cuts' opening event, which took place June 28th:

Paper Cuts Exhibit at the Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, MO

"Se Vende" and "Spelling Bee" by Carola Perla at the Foundry Art Centre

"Se Vende" and "Spelling Bee" at Paper Cuts Exhibit

"Se Vende" and "Spelling Bee" paper installations at Foundry Art Centre

"Se Vende" and "Spelling Bee" paper installations by Carola Perla

Winning piece "Se Vende" by Carola Perla

"Spelling Bee" visual poetry paper installation by Carola Perla

Carola Perla and Director Angela Fowle


Monday, June 17, 2013

JOURNEYS: "Paper Cuts" Exhibit at the Foundry Art Centre, June 28, 2013


Ever since sending off my two large installations, "Spelling Bee" and "Se Vende",  to St. Charles last week for the "PaperCuts" exhibit, I have been experiencing terrible pangs of anxiety. 

I keep wondering if it's because I'm worried about the state they will arrive in (being they've never traveled that far)?  Have I provided the right materials to display them?  Will they be hung correctly? Will they will make it back to me safe and sound in October?

And then I again, I wonder if my mind is really on something much more deep-seated...am I worried about how they will be received?  What would I do if someone wanted to buy them, would I be happy about it, or spin into another spiral of worry altogether?

And what if it's not any of the above?  What if it's because I am entering a new phase of my artistic life, which is my life essentially?  Starting this July, I will be participating in two separate gallery exhibits, in addition to unveiling a second piece for my upcoming novel "Humboldt's Riches" at ATELIER 1022.  I have left the safety of my own studio and have ventured out into the world.  I have no idea what reaction to expect.  There is as much responsibility in success as there is in failure...will I look back on this summer and see it as the monumental shift in direction as if feels to me now?  Is this the start of something or just a wave, a swell as occurs from time to time only to see things die down again?


I deliberate on all this from my seat at the dining table/computer desk in my living room.  Slanted rays of afternoon sun play on the palm fronds outside my window, balmy air pulsates through the mosquito mesh.  I am stationary, yet in motion...I am, I realize like my Anka in "Gibbin House", traveling without moving...Again, as so often in the past ten years, I find myself in her shoes, and it is brought home to me how very real my heroine is, and I love her all the more for it.  She understands what I feel just now.  As I enter this next chapter, I offer these lines:

"I pulled the covers over me, but my skin prickled from the inescapable chill that comes from lying alone.  I could not gather myself tight enough to feel solid and whole.  My stomach still seared from the coffee and now the astringent gin.  All the fluid in my insides rocked with the forward motion of the past week.  I lay inert, and yet my body was on a train, on a ferry, in a subterranean car, traveling without moving.
"I now feel most intimately that the process of traversing distance is an erosion of the spirit.  The thrill of change that accompanies the onset of a journey is a deception, the fearful attachment to outcome which makes adrenaline kick in a way not entirely un-pleasurable propelling the lie.  For a moment one feels positively alive.  One is duped into committing to the chaos.  One inhales the fumes, joins in rigid attack stances near sliding compartment doors.  One holds on feverishly as stuttering wheels grind to a halt.  One is titillatingly taunted by visions of missed connections, rerouted trains.  One presses on.
But after hours of vigilance and wide-eyed awake-ness, one adopts patience.  Or as it ought to be known, the self-congratulatory brother of fatigue.  Patience then gives way to indifference, and in time one becomes a heretic to the creed of goals and ends and satin-ribboned resolutions.  One stops caring about the names of foreign cities, stops seeking out their hearts from window seats.  Eventually one realizes they are all disfigured, all the same sketch of blasted glass and ruins and fire-retardant weeds, anonymous to the fickle gazes that graze them.  One drifts among them, a shipwrecked figure on Gericault’s raft, gaunt and delirious, running one’s arm through the air outside without hope or aim." (p. 36-38)



Sunday, May 26, 2013

Gibbin House Book Giveaway!

Closed The Cover is conducting a book giveaway of "Gibbin House" until June 2nd! 

Follow the link to win one of 3 autographed copies:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Little Triumphs: Bronze Winner of Art Ascent Magazine's 'Emergence' Art Contest!

I'm so excited to be able to add another 'Little Triumph' to the list, as Art Ascent Magazine just announced that I am the Bronze Winner of their July issue's 'Emergence' art contest!!!

The magazine chose the top 20 artists from among a host of international applicants earlier this May, and will feature the three placing winners in July's print as well as digital online issue, with article and photo spread.  I've been lucky to get a preview of the article and I must say it is a wonderful appraisal of my art's thematic direction and aesthetic aims.  To see more, visit the website and sign up for the magazine's newsletter.

Also, if you're inspired to support my work, sign up for the 'Gibbin House' giveaway at Closed The Cover!  The book review website is conducting the contest, and will award three lucky winners autographed copies of my book! 

GIBBIN HOUSE - BOOK GIVEAWAY by www.closedthecover.com!!!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Homage to Casa Marsano: "Se Vende" Visual Poetry Installation by Carola Perla Unveiled

This May 11th, I unveiled my latest visual poetry installation "Se Vende" during ATELIER 1022's 2-Year Anniversary event.

 It was a special evening for me, as it also marked 2 years since the launch of Gibbin House.

How strange, I kept thinking to myself as I stood posing for photos, that a work I had once lived with behind closed doors for nearly nine years was no longer a private thing, indeed for two years already it had aged, shaken out its skirts and petticoats in the public eye, gotten all adult on me like a teenager graduating college.  It gives you that feeling of "when did I get so old?".  And yet, I also felt relieved.  Relieved, realizing that two years into the completion of Gibbin House, the reason for its existence, the need to exorcise and 'verarbeiten' (as the Germans say) which drove me to write it in the first place, remained the same force behind my work today.

I realized that, although I had never admitted it to myself as I tinkered away at my novel, I was afraid of finishing the book and having nothing left to say.  Perhaps it's why I worked on it for so many years...but looking at the emotional investment in "Se Vende", I knew that wasn't the case.  One way or another I have found projects to express my world views. I have looked for ways to lay things bare, expose ironies and elevate beauties, as an artist ought.  "Se Vende" is probably most emblematic of this impetus - it addresses the sudden and controversial tearing down of Casa Marsano, a known Lima landmark from 1941-2002 and a house that holds a special place in the history of my family.  The building, which was far from dilapidated, could not be saved because it was deemed by authorities to hold no cultural or architectural value (when I see photos of Ocean Drive from the 40's and the row of Art Deco palaces that used to stud that street, I am reminded that Casa Marsano is not the only house to have been so disregarded.)  Judging by the websites, articles, and blogs dedicated posthumously to Casa Marsano, it's clear that the landmark was not only significant to my relatives, but to a city at large.  It's destruction begs the question of what we value in ourselves when we destroy the monuments to beauty that promised such permanence, such continuation.  The poem in "Se Vende" does this by repeating 'for sale' and using cultural references to ask how far we go in selling our patrimony.  The accompanying voice recording of me reading the poem add to the echo effect.

I'm proud of this piece, this examination of a house, my second 'house' as it were:) From Gibbin House to Casa Marsano, I will continue to strive for authenticity and illuminating expression.  Here is to another two years...

And thank you to the Miami SunPost for the great write-up in anticipation of the unveiling.  Follow the link here to read the article in full: http://miamisunpost.com/art-visual-poet-carola-perla/

Monday, April 29, 2013

Argentina's El Clarin Recommends ATELIER 1022 and Carola Perla!

Argentina's largest newspaper EL CLARIN, which is also the most wide-read Spanish-language newspaper online, recently published a travel article on Wynwood that recommends ATELIER 1022 as one of the neighborhoods best galleries!  Echoing our 'Artvergnugen' mantra, the article lists me and my fellow artists by name.  Thank you for the great incusion!

To read the article in full, follow the link here:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Closed The Cover Guest Post by Carola Perla (me!:)

Had the pleasure this week of submitting a guest post to the Closed The Cover book review website.  In it I address my motivation as an author and some ruminations on what inspired me and my work from an early age.  If you're curious to read more about what gave rise to Gibbin House and its heroine Anka, check out the rest of the post here!



Thursday, April 18, 2013

GIBBIN HOUSE: "Se Vende" - Carola Perla's Latest Illuminated Pap...

GIBBIN HOUSE: "Se Vende" - Carola Perla's Latest Illuminated Pap...: ...in anticipation, let me share the 'official' release on this new unveiling. It offers some insight into my themes and process. H...

"Se Vende" - Carola Perla's Latest Illuminated Paper Art Installation Set To Be Unveiled In Just Three Weeks!!!

...in anticipation, let me share the 'official' release on this new unveiling. It offers some insight into my themes and process. Hope it's of some interest!

Introducing Visual Poet Carola Perla
Miami Author Highlights Transience and Transculturation
in Illuminated Paper Sculptures
ATELIER 1022 Studio and Fine Art Gallery introduces resident ‘paper sculptor and visual linguist’, artist Carola Perla, whose latest visual poetry installation "Se Vende" is set to be unveiled at ATELIER 1022's 2nd Anniversary Exhibit - "Perla Projekt 2.0" - on May 11th, 2013.  The young German-Peruvian author launched her literary fiction novel "Gibbin House" at the opening of ATELIER 1022 in May 2011, and has in the ensuing two years expanded on her published prose with an impressive collection of floor-to-ceiling visual poetry 'illuminations' that explore transience, permanence, and transculturation through cut paper, light, graphite drawings, and autobiographical source material. 

Carola Perla's soon-to-be unveiled "Se Vende" integrates all these elements and introduces as its autobiographical component the real-life demolition of Casa Marsano, an ancestral estate and Lima landmark.  A graphite representation of this site emerges from behind a carved wall-sized 'chant' poem that uses the Spanish 'For Sale' expression (Se Vende) as its central 'word motif'.  In "Se Vende", the poem invokes Limean history and folk references, their melancholy devaluation mirrored by the ever-crumbling letters and the building's spectral silhouette which hovers amid fine incisions.  Back lighting and the artist's recorded voice performance of the poem add multi-sensory resonance.

The artist has dubbed her poems 'chants' because they evolve from a word or phrase on which she must meditate during the process of cutting each letter freehand.  The perpetual incantation organically inspires the sound or image of the next, the motif functioning as both a visual and musical building block that slowly draws in other elements.  Since such poems depend on the immediacy of the physical creation, they are composed entirely in the moment.  Each piece, despite its graphic precision, is therefore an absolute and spontaneous original. 

"I see my paper installations as room-sized conversations - visual echoes of my personal fascination with displacement and the way language shapes identity, having spent much of my early childhood traveling across borders, from Romania to Peru to Germany to Miami all before the age of ten," explains the artist.

"The search for 'home' and 'voice' is what drives both my personal and aesthetic decisions.  It led me to write about exile in Gibbin House and to create a mute protagonist.  However, living in Miami, which is this very transient, multi-lingual city, is a daily reminder that the struggle for 'home' and 'voice' is not my own, but universal.  My hope is that the visual impact of these sculptures, coupled with the familiarity of at least one of the languages I use in my poems extends that same reaffirmation to others."

In addition to her poetry chants, Carola features in her pieces excerpts from her novel Gibbin House, as in "Off the Page", the first of the artist's cut-paper sculptures born out of her wish to transcend the inherently hermetic nature of the writing process.  The installation, which debuted during Art Basel Miami 2011 to public acclaim, was comprised of the material culture amassed over a nine-year writing odyssey, and punctuated by the last page of the book - a cascading blanket of white paper, carved delicately with letters dangling off the page.  Imbued with movement and aglow with diffused light, these floating letters translated the extemporaneous vibrancy of language and became for the artist an ethereal manifestation of the spoken word.  "The ephemeral quality of paper adds to the effect with its frailty," says Carola, "yet the irreversible act of cutting reinforces the permanent nature of words.  As words cannot be unsaid, so a paper cut is the ultimate in commitment.  The possibilities seemed endless." 

Indeed, the potential for this art form sparked the series of transience- and transculturation-themed works that round out the collection currently on display at ATELIER 1022: "Spelling Bee", a whimsical floor-to-ceiling visual poem in four languages that traces a young girl's linguistic journey across continents; the German-language "Illegible", incorporating a graphite portrait and the original poetry 'chant' that addresses identity through language; as well as the small-scale "A-Mended Conversation" cut from Mexican amate bark and embroidered with printed text from the Gibbin House manuscript, the medium's traditional uses highlighting gender and class roles as defined by the novel's fictional characters.

Monday, April 15, 2013

GIBBIN HOUSE: 5/5 Review for Gibbin House!!

GIBBIN HOUSE: 5/5 Review for Gibbin House!!: A heart-felt thank you to Ashley LaMar for her wonderful words and palpable enthusiasm! For the complete review, please visit ClosedTheCov...

5/5 Review for Gibbin House!!

A heart-felt thank you to Ashley LaMar for her wonderful words and palpable enthusiasm! For the complete review, please visit ClosedTheCover.com or follow the link here:


Highlights from Ashley LaMar's Closed The Cover review of Gibbin House:

"Gibbin House by Carola Perla is one of those rare books where I fell in love with the story from the very first line."

"I could have read the letter in the Prologue over and over and never tired of reading those gorgeous words. They simply radiated off the pages. Simply amazing."

"It was so well-written that I could feel Anka’s pain and struggle when she first left Vienna for London. Her overwhelming anxiety as she travelled the subway rails and trains into London for the first time was intoxicating and her nerves while she waited for Alfred to show up nearly had me in tears."

"Gibbin House is an intense, emotional and flawlessly romantic story...It was simply perfect. There are no words with which I can adequately describe my love for this book. Gibbin House should absolutely be a must-read."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mapanare Interview with Carola Perla @ATELIER 1022 During Art Basel

This past December Mapanare Blogger Patrick Ogle was so kind to interview me during Art Basel.  Here is the link to his article about me and some of the video!



Gibbin House is a Book Club Pick!

This past November, 'Gibbin House' hit a milestone with its first 'Book Club' reading!  The Miami-based event was held at ATELIER 1022 Gallery and turned out to be just the sort of spirited bohemian evening our protagonist Anka would loved to have been a part of, with elegant intelligent women on velvet pillows sharing profound thoughts and their love of literature over heapings of cucumber salad, dark bread, smoked meats and a seemingly endless pouring of wine...

Now, despite the thrilling occasion, this lazy author managed to drag her feet about posting the photos!  For shame.  So here is a sampling - the rest can be found on my facebook page: facebook.com/carolaperla  If you have any questions or would like to feature Gibbin House as part of your next book club, please contact me here or on facebook...I look forward to the next one!!