LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
DATE OF BIRTH
Gaby Jonna (b. 1993; MA Royal College of Art ‘22) is a painter, performer and sculptor who researches and practices using bodily intelligence. Her works explore human transformation, interiority, plasticity, and trauma, drawing inspiration from organic forms and cycles in the natural world.
Gaby Jonna is engaged with an expansive understanding of bodily boundaries and modes of human transformation. She is guided by intuition to produce the tactile fluid forms in her work, emphasising the importance of bodily intelligence and why we should listen to our bodies. Hereby, she draws on new, somatic ways to explore human transformation —metamorphosis—, guided by the natural, autonomous human form.
She exhibited her work in her first solo exhibition ‘Bodyscapes' at The Lab, Bow Arts, London (Oct. 2022-Jan. 2023), and further exhibited group exhibitions ‘White Table Take-Over’ , and ‘CAP Salon’, both at the Dyson Gallery, London (2022), amongst others. During the creation of Bodyscapes, Gaby Jonna attached a microphone to her heart area using a hacked stethoscope, and a second microphone to her face. Letting the rhythm and sounds of her breathing and heart rate guide her movements, Gaby allowed the body to speak for itself to then be transferred into fluid forms on a canvas. During live performances, she invited visitors to sit with her, facing one other. After a period of connecting, she intuitively painted the interaction on a canvas as part of the performance, thereby making the visitor and viewer part of the work and the landscape created.
In the sculpture series Contained (consisting of 9 vessels), Gaby Jonna worked with Jesmonite to create vessels that are a metonym for the primary rigid form of human transformation processes, drawing inspiration from natural forms. The vessels contain casted body parts, retaining the presence of her body, and evoking natural, tactile, and living forms. The vessels resemble the interplay between a rigid body, and the shape of containment, similar to how an egg contains new life, but also confines the unborn. Thereby, it explores the presence and absence of body at the same time, and the internal and external world. A body in search of a place of attention and acknowledgement, creating a space of consolation, exploring themes of femininity, vulnerability, time, and rebirth.
Questions surrounding what makes our bodies move and how we can expand our understanding of different forms of self are central to her work. The Bodyscapes paintings and Contained sculpture series is a form of internal research that expands our understanding of self and other, boundaries, bodies, consent and human transformation.
Gaby Jonna recently graduated from Royal College of Art with an MA in Contemporary Art Practice (2022), and was awarded the Young Talent Award, from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. Before moving to London, Gaby Jonna worked as an artist at The Wunderkammer (Amsterdam), focusing on bio-inspired art and design, which instigated using the natural world as source of inspiration, and graduated with a BA (Hons.) from the Artemis Academy in the Netherlands.
Gaby Jonna continues to live and work in London, where she invites visitors of her work to explore the boundaries and acknowledgement between self and other. She is interested in transferring these experiences into her painting, sculpting and body movement performances.
WHO I AM
I am painter, performer and sculptor who researches and practices using bodily intelligence.
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