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.

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!!