“I had been thinking for some time about having a place,” Giovanna Cerise said as we stood at the landing point of her new exhibition space, The Lost Harbour, which officially opens on Thursday, July 14th. “Some time ago I had a gallery, and many people have asked me if I would have a regular place where they could see my work and so I decided to make one.”
If I’m totally honest, Giovanna having a space in she can freely display her art once more is well overdue. Whether it takes one of her large-scale immersive pieces such as Tristan und Isolde or The Eternal Suspense (to name but two), or her smaller pieces, as seen in her recent Retrospective , her work is beautifully exquisite and quite marvellous to see. I was therefore excited to learn about The Lost Harbour, and delighted to spend time visiting with her ahead of the opening.
Occupying the north-east corner of a region, The Last Harbour is a fabulous setting for Giovanna’s work, beautifully laid out and presented to visitors. From the landing point, a series of platforms sit on the waters of the parcel, connected by transparent and translucent tiles from the aforementioned Tristan und Isolde. These form both a display space and a walkway passing across the parcel.
On the seaward side of the parcel sit four pieces which those familiar with Giovanna’s work may recognise as being from some of her past installations. On the landward side, against the boundary wall, are more pieces, notably her black pen line images and forms mindful of installations like Line, together 3D pieces, such as Breeze, a piece best appreciated by camming around and through it, rather than simply regarding it whilst stood still.
Between these two sides is a stepped platform on which are displayed four new studies, comprising single and paired figures. “I wanted to do some new work,” Giovanna told me as we studied them. “In recent times I have worked mostly for large installations. I wanted to focus my ideas and my inspiration on smaller works.”
She continued, “Each of them expresses an idea; a thought emotion. Pandora, Eve, Self Control, Stranger, The Unbearable Lightness of Being … symbolic names.” Symbolic they may be, but they are also deeply intimate; one doesn’t so much observe each of these figures; one becomes a part of each of their stories, a confidante in their expression, if you will.
This is a place where wandering, sitting and contemplation are welcomed. “I imagined a place to walk among the works of art and even then relax by the sea,” Giovanna said, indicating the arched wall along one side of the exhibition space. Passing through this will indeed bring you to a little beach, beautifully landscapes and with seats in which visitors can relax, as well as little beach house, while hovering over the sandy tide are the sirens from Il Folle Volo (The Mad Flight).
The Last Harbour formally opens at 13:00 SLT on Thursday, July 14th at 13.00 SLT. My congratulations to Giovanna in establishing the space, and my thanks to her as well, for allowing me to pop over and spend time with her discussing it.
- The Last Harbour (Rated: Moderate)