17 Aug 2022

Gabrielle Drimalovski

Photographer who has chosen to explore the sinister side of the 'human gaze'

Gabrielle Drimalovski

BORN in Lithuania, I moved along with my family to Tuam, when I was 12 years old.

Eager to begin my studies in an art school, in 2013, I moved to Limerick to study for a BA at Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD). Initially, I attended primary school in Lithuania, then after moving to Tuam, I finished primary school there and began my secondary education in the Presentation College at Currylea.

Even as a child I was always into photography, taking photos of anything and everything around me, so being creative by nature studying Photography and Film was a fairly natural progression.

My dad’s side of the family would be quite creative also. My uncle is a painter and my dad enjoys woodwork and metalwork. With that being said, as much as I still enjoy photography, these days my specialization primarily lies in film. In fact, I personally feel that video allows for a lot more creative freedom and invariably I am able to incorporate sound, text, and various other elements into it, as opposed to just still images. As a result, I find that I can express my ideas best through film. In general, I tend to find still photography a little more restrictive in that regard.

Currently, I am working on a new video project and once that is completed, I am planning to approach various curators and apply to participate in both group/solo exhibitions.

Therefore, I am constantly trying to come-up with new ideas and concepts. I am also quite interested in pursuing a career in the film industry later on, as film making is a prominent interest for me. My inspiration stems mostly from personal experiences or from general observations of people in their day-to-day lives. I am strongly influenced by film, TV and the work of other artists. Indeed, I try to attend as many exhibitions and artists’ talks as possible, since these can trigger ideas or new ways of displaying work. I also enjoy reading and find some texts to be inspiring in terms of finding new ideas and concepts. For example, as seen in my LSAD Graduate Show Exhibition piece entitled ‘Scopoaesthesia’.

In terms of visual style when it comes to producing video work, I tend to enjoy carefully composed static shots that incorporate the use of various neon-coloured lighting.

Along with this, I like experimenting with different angles and lighting techniques all of the time. Conceptually, my work portrays a theme that seems to subtly touch on the thriller-horror genre. It is psychological and introspective in nature, yet playful, enticing, and immersive visually. I enjoy incorporating sound into my work, which frequently co-exists with either a text-based or spoken word narrative. Moving images thus allow me to combine various elements and modes of expression. My immediate focus is on the human gaze and all aspects of looking, stemming from ‘people watching’ and from a general curiosity with human nature. For example, our subconscious thoughts and reflex-driven reactions are manifested by giving and receiving a ‘gaze’. The most interesting thing for me is to observe how people react to these situations or to others, when they are not aware that someone is watching them. Here, our unconscious communication often portrays our most honest selves.

A general appreciation of your surroundings definitely contributes to motivating one to become a photographer.

Along with that, a natural desire to capture images can arise, as you start experimenting with different subject matter, angles, and lighting, and you begin to branch out, forming new ideas and capturing new moments. With the existence of camera equipped smart phones today, as well as many social media platforms on which to share your photographs, it is becoming increasingly easy for enthusiasts to become photographers. In fact, while analogue photography and printed images can be quite costly, digital photography is very straightforward and cost effective.

Although not completely necessary in this process, a college education is definitely a huge advantage when it comes to being an artist.

My own studies have taught me an awful lot about professional contemporary practice, and opened-up new opportunities that I don’t think would have come my way if it wasn’t for LSAD. I also picked-up many new technical skills during my years there. Having tutors for support and guidance, as well as fellow students to critique my work and give me feedback, was also really helpful. So, all-in-all, I would absolutely encourage anyone with an interest in photography to pursue it. It is a highly prominent art form in modern society, with photographic images being endemic to whatever we read, be it online or in-print publications. Photography is also a very useful base tool to incorporate into other forms of creativity, such as painting, printmaking, or sculpture. Pursuing an interest in photography, whether that be through formal education, or as a casual hobby, can be really good fun and may open-up new doors to an expanding interest in other related areas.

Ever since Limerick was dubbed our National City of Culture (2014), I have found that the city has rapidly begun to develop as an artistic centre.

For example, there has been a plethora of resulting cultural events, a good few art galleries and cultural hubs have emerged, and of course our ever present art students, are contributing greatly to an artistic scene that is constantly expanding. There is also wonderful street art around Limerick, well served by a variety of art exhibitions. The opening of Troy Studios will also encourage and support the city as an artistic centre and draw even more creative people!

For more info about Gabrielle please see:

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