A note from John…

Welcome to the second blog, I hope you’ll enjoy the takeover from this artist as much I’m thrilled she’s working with the project. Before you dive-in though, I’d like to express my admiration for Irene. She was the first artist to formally get involved with Wildfire, in that she was the first artist I had a sit-down meeting with in a ‘professional’ context, in order to pitch the idea to her. Despite my shaky delivery, my haphazard presentation, and overall madness of the project – she said yes. Not just a “sure, why not?” yes, but a big, passionate “let’s do this and I want to be really involved and help you realise this project!!!” sort of yes. That was a year ago. And she’s still here, already delivered three fantastic works for the first show in Folkestone, working on more for Salisbury and now writing this very personal blog post. She has been so supportive at every stage, she’s encouraged me when I needed it, she’s lifted my spirits, she’s kept me believing that this can and will work. I’m proud to count her as a collaborator, and prouder still to count her as a friend.

My name is Irene Giannettino, I’m from Palermo (Sicily) and I was born a creative thinker; ever since I was little I always had scissors, glue, papers and colours in front of me. At 14 I decided I wanted to make my way into the world of art and I went to an art high school where I studied history of art and various techniques, but it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more, to explore new techniques and ways of working, so I went to the Academy of Fine Art where I studied Graphic design, photography, history of cinema and much more.
Unfortunately, my city couldn’t offer me a great future as an artist, and two months after I finished my degree I packed my stuff and went straight to London. Where is better than London? I was ready to try and make my living in graphic design, but I should have known better than that, it is really competitive and it wasn’t easy to promote myself with my poor English. So while working in coffee shops and restaurants, I also attended classes that improved my creative thinking. The big turning point was Annie Atkins workshop “Graphic Design for Filmmaking” in Dublin. That four-day workshop, travelling all by myself, and the people I met changed my attitude and my outlook on life. At that point I also had a better knowledge of the English language and did manage to work a little as freelancer for different short movies and other small projects. Creating posters for movies lead me to digital painting, a new practice that I add to my skills, but I was missing something, I was missing expressing myself through an artwork, being an artist!
 Then John arrived. I met him at Dillons, the coffee shop in Waterstones Gower Street, where we worked together for a little less than a year. We soon became friends, but it wasn’t until early 2018, after some big changes in his life, that he told me about an idea he’d had for about two years, Wildfire Gallery. I loved it and I was ready to put myself into it. I still remember our first Wildfire meeting outside the British Museum, an incredible sunny day, he was talking about the idea and I was dreaming! This was my chance to work as an artist! I thought the project was incredible, I decided to pause my graphic design career and dedicate myself to my art, and I’m now more than sure this is my path. 
When I start on an artwork I might have a whole idea in my head that keeps changing as I keep working on it. Sometimes the original idea is not that far away from the final result, other times is totally different and yet somehow remains exactly what I originally wanted to say. Everything I do comes from deep inside, I capture moments of my life when I feel like I could see, to understand the meaning of it all, and I reproduce that moment or the feeling itself. Through both the figurative and the abstract (styles that I feel are very important in my practice), I communicate stories or concepts that have shaped me and my understanding of life and ultimately create a connection with the viewer. For me, making art is the best method of communication, of revolution. I use all the techniques learned during my studies to express myself, and never stop searching for new ones – and even though I have decided to follow my own path as an artist, my graphic design work is still very important for my practice. Colour, too, is a big part of my work, I feel colours are a powerful force with which I can express the best impact and the right feelings.
My art is for everyone, I want them to feel what I felt, and see the world the way I see it, I want to help them to appreciate life, freedom, love, friendship, and to understand time; enjoying the little things is important, time is life and we shouldn’t waste it.

Irene Giannettino

Graphic Designer/Graphic Artist

WEBSITE: http://irenegiannettino.wixsite.com/portfolio/artworks