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.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

'LIT/LITE: Visual Poetry Installations by Carola Perla' at the Foundry Art Centre# - A Look Back

My very first solo show 'LIT/LITE: Visual Poetry Installations' opened two Thursdays ago at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles (St. Louis, MO), and I am still finding it hard to believe...

I say this for two reasons: the first is that I feel like such a novice.  I started with my paper cuts three years ago and it still startles me a bit to think of myself as an artist.  The title 'artist' seems to imply such a lot of struggle and suffering, countered by that unmistakable streak of genius and determination.   I instantly recall scenes from 'Of Human Bondage', because I had always imagined myself more like that novel's protagonist, a dilettante rather than the real thing, a lover of the bohemian life, a romantic, not meant for an actual hard life on the street in search of a dream, never really risking the gutter...I never imagined a road towards 'artist' a clean one...even as a writer, I battled demons, I lived a solitary life, at times I sacrificed...but this art, for which I am suddenly recognized and rewarded, this art had been a path of few stumbling blocks, of real joy, of (dare I admit) caprice...how have I found myself in this place, I wondered that evening in Saint Charles?  Can I be deserving?  What comes next?

Which I suppose is the question that brings me to my second reason: last year when I received my prize, it felt like such a beginning of something.  A year later, it feels like a closing chapter...because the truth is that with all my work displayed, I must forge a new path...I have to figure out what I need to do to grow, what still needs saying, do I intend to sell these things one day?  How much longer can I consider myself an artist without selling a piece?  Is this a fork in the road?  These are the questions I am not prepared to answer yet, and so the experience remains stubbornly in my mind an unsolidified one, a castle in the air, a whisper of memories...I am not ready to be nostalgic...

So instead I will focus on the journey of this past year, on the loneliness I felt last June, my uncertainty as I entered the Foundry, afraid of feeling inconsequential, of not being able to stand on my own...and knowing that all these months later, I could not feel more loved or consequential, at least to all who matter most to me...if I happen to elicit any such feeling from others through my work, then I can count myself truly blessed, and perhaps even an 'artist'

'LIT/LITE' runs now through November 7th...here is a bit of what you will see: