Hailing from Awabakal land (Newcastle, NSW) Giorgia Bel is a self-taught artist, having begun her practice in 2015. She started to paint to soothe the mental strain of becoming unwell physically throughout her 20’s. For a time painting had been something to help an unwell woman heal, but soon became a great love and a way of life for her. With a commitment to her craft and a connection to the land, Bel is drawn to the natural ochres and pigments that are native to the Australian earth.
There is a layering of what she sees and remembers that is interspersed with what she paints. Bel’s palette and subjects hum a meditative silence of the bush and landscape of this Sunburnt Country.
Her sombre palette and repetition of her subject echo a melancholia in her rhetoric. With looming, skeletal trees in the foreground, a Rothko-like treatment of canvas pulls the viewer in, posing a question – will you take a moment to bask in the silence? Bel’s connection to place, childhood memories and surrealist dreamscapes are evident as her paintings speak to her philosophy of art as medicine.