By Judith Haaser
Meet Karina Vettorel, an incredible artist from Brazil making an impact in Plymouth’s art scene.
I met Karina for a coffee on the Barbican on a nice summer day. We were surrounded by boats and curious seagulls. I approached Karina because I saw flyers stating that she was giving a summer workshop at the Plymouth School of Creative Arts – I wanted to find out more.
Karina left her home Brazil in 2006 to travel to Italy. Karina was a tour guide back in Brazil and also travelled New Zealand and lived in Italy. She smiles, “I’ve lived quite a nomadic life at times.” She decided to move to London in 2007 and to study Fine Art at the University of East London for five years. She always used to draw and paint when she was younger and loved it so much that this was an easy decision for her. “My mum took my brother and me to some art classes when we were young. I would do fabric painting and my brother did sculpture. He works as an architect in America now.” she says proudly.
Karina was very successful with her work and has been working and exhibiting in London. She completed her BA Hons First Class degree in Fine Art and won the Second Floor Studio Price 2014.
She came to Plymouth in 2015 and had already organised a group and solo exhibition at Devonport Guildhall and at 34 New Street in Plymouth. Karina’s work consists of photography, oil paintings, drawings and printmaking. In her most recent work, she has used photography as an inspiration to portray a distinct style of neglected objects. Her solo show was called ‘Abandoned Something from Nothing’.
“The exhibition was influenced by my memories of all my travels” she told me. Karina has always been interested in the things we easily overlook such as rusty, neglected objects. Her use of the structure of paint allows you to focus on specific parts of an object, rather than than the object in it’s entirety. She picks a certain part and viewpoint, such as the rusty corner of an old boat or a part of a car, and by honing in on this she adds a distinctive beauty to it. Every object has a different meaning for people, stating “for me, old things tell a story I would like to discover.”
She used to have a studio at the Barbican and exhibits her work at Studio 102. Her pieces are very figurative, utilising fabrics to give her oil paintings extra texture. Her pieces are incredibly detailed and often features her favourite tool – the pallet knife. When you look at her art, the parts of rusty objects and old plugs, you cannot help but wonder what this object used to look like and what its story might be.
Karina has been offering workshops at the Plymouth School of Creative Arts (PSCA) called “A New Look at Colours”, designed to those who are interested in learning more about mixing colours. You can have more information or book a space via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karina aims to continue working with children and to offer more courses. Karina also aims to start a MA in Fine Art. “Art for me is a form of expression. It can also help people to express their feelings. It is a sense of transformation and it gives us the ability of externalising issues. I also like the idea of reinventing things – transform what is useless, discarded into meaningful work – from useless to priceless. I call this the construction and destruction process before the art piece is ready.”
She also told me: “I feel the art scene in Plymouth is changing a lot and becomes more abstract which is great.”
Karina hopes to be able to work with Ocean Studios and the PSCA more in the future. She will also be involved in the Plymouth Art Weekender together with the School of Creative Arts and Studio 102, where she will be displaying some of her works from the 23rd to 25th of September 2016.
If you would like to see more of her work or to buy any of her pieces, visit her website:
or if you want to view Karina’s work at the Plymouth Art Weekender, visit:
Studio 102, 102 Vauxhall Street, Plymouth PL4 0DD
Plymouth School of Creative Art, 22 Millbay Rd, Millbay, Plymouth PL1 3EG