Speaking with the Artist: Joella Gardner
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Joella, I am currently in my third year studying Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts. I also work at Anteros Arts Foundation, a local charity for the promotion and education of the arts in Norfolk.
What kind of environment inspired your piece?
I have lived and worked in urban areas of Norwich all my life. Whilst I do appreciate these environments, like many others I seek the rural landscape as an escape from the concrete jungle. Discovering new places to walk and enjoy the nature that Norfolk has to offer is something I look forward to year-round.
Throughout lockdown I have been fortunate to be living in a more rural area, where I have thoroughly enjoyed daily walks in a variety of settings. The aspects of nature that I discover in these areas, such as fallen leaves and weeds emerging from the pavement cracks, have been the inspiration and medium for my recent creative practice. I am interested in celebrating Norfolk’s rural environment through my artwork, helping to raise awareness of the current threats to these areas and supporting campaigns such as ‘Stop the Wensum Link’. I believe that through art we can learn a greater attentiveness towards nature which will help us to understand and develop our relationship with the environment. Art can make us feel the facts that science provides, and this increased emotional understanding can lead us to be more sensitive in the way we manage the environment, and hopefully lead to greater changes.
Norfolk is somewhere I am proud to call home. For me, it offers the perfect balance of environments – a city buzz and tranquil nature. I am someone who is passionate about promoting nature and sustainability in my personal life, however, I am now interested in how I can also utilise my artistic practice to explore these ideas.