Passionate about painting and pottery, it's all about food and friends for our latest Aje Insider. Her work a celebration of life and beauty, an exploration of travel and life's simplest pleasures. We travel to Puglia and back with artist, Gabrielle Penfold. As photographed by friend and fellow Aje Insider, Yan Yan Chan.
THREE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE YOUR ART
Hopefully it’s just a celebration of life and beauty. My work is not trying to be serious.
YOU'RE MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT
I have a lot of passions that share equal reign. Painting, pottery, cooking, eating, gardening, swimming and dancing.
WHAT DRIVES YOUR CREATIVITY
I never feel like I’m working whilst painting or creating something. Travelling, going to exhibitions, visiting new places, meeting new and old friends and just general good banter all influence my creative process.
DESCRIBE YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS
Essentially a lot of my work is inspired by food and meals I have eaten while traveling. So I guess it would start with a good meal. I take a lot of pictures for reference — I find myself drooling away in my studio, always thinking about my next meal. My landscapes and nudes often come from a sketch I have taken whilst at the beach. I may start a painting one week and finish it a month later, just adding little bits to it over a long time.
BEST ADDRESSES IN PUGLIA
I loved visiting the town of Lecce. It's a little more inland, but worth the visit. I was extremely fortunate to stay with my friends Frances and Umbi, who moved there earlier this year. They took me to the the most incredible restaurant, where we finished eating at 1am. We the strolled the old town until we found the most perfect bar for a digestif. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of both the restaurant and the bar, But in Puglia, you are kinda safe going anywhere.
FAVOURITE PLACE EVER VISITED
Way too hard a question to answer. But earlier this year I travelled to Mexico, I didn’t have any expectations but soon discovered what an incredible place it was. We travelled on the west coast, staying in Puerto Escondido and Mazunte. The seafood there was incredible, I had never been a fan of Mexican food until this trip. If you’re ever in Mexico City, go to Contramar. I have love affair with the tuna tostadas and the grilled whole fish.
A PERFECT DAY ENTAILS
Painting, a swim and a good dinner party/turned dance party.
YOU'RE HAPPIEST WHEN
YOUR SIGNATURE DISH
Anything with eggplant in it, I have been obsessed with eggplant of late. It has been a feature in most dishes I’ve cooked this past month.
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION/IDOL
I don’t really have one, I find a lot of artists, cooks and personalities inspiring. Truth be told, I really look up to my parents. They are the best.
CAREER HIGHLIGHT SO FAR
Painting in the Spanish countryside.
FAVOURITE ARTWORK/ARTIST OF ALL TIME
I’m struggling with this one! I don’t think I can answer it. I can tell you who and what I’m loving this very moment though. William De Kooning, Door to the River. The colour palette is perfection.
THE LAST BOOK YOU READ
The Land Where Lemons Grow : The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit, by Helena Attlee
ANYTHING EXCITING IN THE WORKS THAT YOU CAN SHARE WITH US
I’m aiming to have an exhibition that coincides with the start of summer.
Aje Insider : Gabrielle Penfold @GabriellePenfold
Photography : Yan Yan Chan @_YanYanChan
Location : Puglia, Italy