Proudly from Birmingham, Autumn Naish, 21, is a painter and art student currently based in Rome, Italy. On a year abroad program, the Fine Art student is currently studying at Rome University of Fine Art before returning to her usual place of study, Birmingham City University, in the next academic year.
Nouveaux caught up with Autumn for a Skype Q & A session.
What does ‘art’ mean to you?
Art to me is the individual spirit in its creative form. Art enables me to be creative, expressive and to illustrate my thoughts, ideas and emotions. I have always been artistic and every since I can remember art is a means of escapism for me, both in making my art and seeing other artist work. Visiting galleries and exhibitions I have always been lost in the created worlds of artist and I to want to create my own worlds and hope that I will be able to inspire and relate to people like art has done for me.
Has your time in Rome so far impacted and influenced you both culturally and artistically?
My study in Rome has been an inspirational one, both artistically and individually.
My practise has developed from looking at the mundane and emphasising its beauty to looking at my experiences of a place, the things I see, feel and taste, to the colours all around me whether in the wild flowers dotted along my commute, the rainbow of graffiti illustrated on the old and new buildings or the way the locals take their time strolling along manic roads enjoying the sunshine with gelato in hand.
My time here has opened up new inspirations for me to explore within my work, experiencing different culture, a different way of living and having all this rich art history at my fingertips whilst strolling through the centre. Notice I use the word ‘strolling’ as being here has allowed me to relax, enjoy the scenery, fall in love with Rome’s nature which is situated everywhere and to experience the social aspect of the locals, drinking coffee whilst sitting outside charming bars. Thus allowing me to soak up the beauty of Rome, this in turn has been poured into my art creating a personal memoir of my time in Rome.
As an art student and a creative individual, what do you do in order to avoid falling into the tourist trap?
As an art student, Rome is the place to be due to its amazing art history. It is truly a visual Western art feast due to its classical sculptures, Renaissance frescos and beautiful baroque decor.
Personally I would see the Tofurkey sites as they are worth the visit but for an artist I definitely recommend going to see as many galleries and exhibitions as you can.
For example, when it comes to classical art I recommend the Capitoline Museums, Borghese Gallery and Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, hosting the sculptures by Bernini and paintings by Caravaggio which are perfection but my favourite is the fresco Pietro da Cortona La Divina Provvidenza, Volta (1642) at d’Arte Antica, it is truly breath taking, a pure wonder.
It is important I believe for an artist to go and see classical art, I still get inspired by classical art just as much as contemporary art, speaking of the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna hosts pieces by Duchamp, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Monet and Balla to name a few as well as many more modern painters and sculptures. The contemporary galleries Museo Nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (also known as MAXXI and MACRO) And Scuderie del Quirinale, are all a worth a trip to see the latest contemporary shows.
What would you advice other creative individuals to do during their time in Rome?
I would advise other creative individuals to see as much of Rome as you can, but also to see the non-touristy attractions such as the Villas, the parks of Rome that are dotted around and are simply beautiful.
The parks are an escape from the bluster and busy streets of the centre, I recommend going for walks and a picnic in the Villa Borghese to admire the view of Rome as well as admiring the stone pine trees that surround you. Visit the galleries you wish to see, but I would advise to also visit the magnificent churches situated around Rome if you happen to wonder by, but I also recommend going to the Basilica di Santa Marie in Trastevere, my home in Rome.
Trastevere is my favourite place to be in Rome, it is full of trendy bars, restaurants, cafes, markets and street sellers. The atmosphere is vibrant in the Piazza Santa Marie with live music and everyone sitting around listening and soaking up the vibe, the night-life is the same.
I do enjoy spending my time walking the beautiful streets and admiring the buildings covered in wisteria, the twinkling lights and feeling the buzz of the people about, very inspirational place. If you have time I would advise to jump on train to visit places outside of Rome, in particular Bracciano and Tivoli, both captivating places to visit and admire the gorgeous views. Whilst roaming the beauties of a Rome you must eat as much Italian food and mouth-watering gelato as you want (seriously that good, pistachio is my favourite) but most importantly just experience Rome and all its wonders in the eternal city.
A gallery of Autumn’s time in Rome can be found below.
*Last updated: 14/03/2016