(Cover art of Gibbin House)
Creative Look at Gibbin House, a Novel by Carola Perla
Most art galleries in Wynwood showcase the traditional media we think of when we think ‘art gallery.’ Scultpures, paintings, drawings, photography - even experiments in street art are being played with. While not many galleries have resident musical artists, music itself is ever present every second Saturday of the month during Miami’s great Art Walks where the galleries open their doors and artists display their latest creations.
Many of these galleries, though, do not cater to every single type of art lover. That is, those who partake in the more long-form, narrative arts. Namely novels. In fact authors are rarely remembered by our modern society to be artists just like musicians, painters, and photographers. For Carola Perla of Atelier 1022, the art of writing is no less an intense creative process than holing one’s self up in a room with paint and a blank canvas for days on end.
Gibbin House takes place in the years after World War 2 where a young woman named Anka Pietraru, displaced from the war, has been sent by her mother to live with an old family friend. Living in the house are several men of various ages who end up intimidating Anka through their personalities alone. These personalities were beautifully developed by Perla. As in any good read, one becomes involved in their back stories and curious about their past while a few choice characters provoke even further feelings of curiosity and sympathy. The inspiration for people in the story were drawn from personal experience.
“I started to piece together things from my family,” said Perla at an interview from Atelier 1022.
She added that a years-long romance gone bad provided more inspiration for the story, but a few things even more distressing than a soured relationship became part of the book. Carola Perla’s family were displaced throughout their lives having to move to various places in Europe, South America, and the United States. Her mother (also a head figure of the gallery), Ellie Perla, has German and Romanian background.
When Carola was young, her family stayed at a house in Peru that was, shortly after they departed, terrorized by the Shining Path rebel group.
“What she goes through, the experiences of someone who moves from country to country,” Perla explained, were “close to me.”
Anka is depicted as having many traits that Carola sees as similarities, and as a metaphor for the author’s own life difficulties, is speech disabled in the story.
“When you move from place to place,” said Perla, “people don’t think about the fact that you spend a huge part of your life being completely uncommunicative. Because you’re constantly in situations where you don’t speak the language.”
While reading the book, the use of language and mood transports the reader into a different time and place. As a peek into the creative process, Perla’s long hours of hard work for weeks at a time have paid off. Not to mention the countless life experiences she has interpreted into a piece of literary art.
Tonight at 8pm in Wynwood, located near the intersection of 29th Street and 2nd Ave., the Atelier 1022 gallery will open its doors for an event featuring a photo collection that interprets settings and scenery from Gibbin House, the release of two new children’s books by Ellie Perla, and several local authors reading from their work.