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28th November 2019
My favourite aspect of the 2019 art and photography Venice trip was making new friends. This trip was a good opportunity as it allowed me to make new relationships as I came from a different school.
Although the gelato and different Italian delicacies were by far the most enjoyable aspects on the trip, I learnt a lot about different artists and photographers and was intrigued by their different backstories and how they came to be. This included the Giardini where we learnt and explored all the different kinds of cultures of art from different pavilions from all around the world. My personal favourite was the French pavilion as it featured a very experimental film by Laure Prouvos, which transcended me to a different state of mind and made me view art in a different way.
From the experience I not only gained a closer bond with my peers but also with my teachers. One of the photographers I was particularly intrigued by was Zhanna Kadyrova. She is a Ukrainian artist who has been exploring the relationship between architecture and mosaic. She often uses cheap tiling for mosaic, combined with heavyweight construction materials such as concrete and cement. Her work, ‘For Market’ is displayed in the Arsenale. It is a food stall equipped with everything a street trader needs, and she makes sausages and salamis from concrete and natural stone, and fashions fruit and vegetables – bananas, watermelons, pomegranates, aubergines – in chunky mosaic. This was definitely my favourite piece!
The version of Second Hand, which is another one of her works, is on view in the Central Pavilion at the Giardini in which she repurposed ceramic tiles from a hotel in Venice to construct items of clothing and linen. Her inspiration is said to come from her home country, Ukraine, which has a long history of ceramic tile production.
Overall, I’ve personally taken a lot from this trip including learning about the different aspects to art and photography. It has been a great introduction to my first year as I was able to base my November assessment on Zhanna Kadyrova’s work. It was truly inspiring. I hope to incorporate elements of the style from the different artists I encountered on the trip into my own work in the coming months.
By Muskaan Iqbal
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