Gail de Cordova
Gail de Cordova
I paint and use all kinds of materials on a surface. I have done this for most of my life – my Mum even says that I learnt to say the names of the colours before I said anything else – though I think ‘Mum/Mama’ would have been there first! It is my passion and my joy and what gets me up in the morning. I sometimes rise from sleep with a vision or a colour and need to get straight to it; this can be the middle of the night or early morning. I also make music and sing and play piano and it is much the same for that process too, although being a professional visual artist means there is less pressure with the music than the painting.
I live and work in Cambridge and around twelve years ago had a studio built at the end of my garden. Prior to that I worked in a (freezing in winter and baking in summer) loft, which wasn’t properly insulated just a Velux window and the slate roof and the sky! It was quite a big space and I did enjoy being up there close to the heavens and the jackdaws! Having the studio built transformed my life.
My sister was very encouraging saying ‘you’ve made a temple for your art’! It is my favourite space and where I spend most of my time. I also spend a lot of time on the way to the studio getting waylaid by the garden. When not working on a piece, I will be gazing out onto the garden looking at the birds, the flowers and the trees.
I was born in Malta but lived most of my childhood in Cornwall. Along with my brother and two sisters – we were like feral children outside wandering the cliff tops and woodlands, a truly magical childhood. My ancestors are from Cordoba in Spain hence my name. My children are half Spanish and I have spent a lot of summers in Spain and lived in Madrid for a year when I left college. I attended Art College in Exeter in the late seventies, early eighties. Sadly that art school no longer exists – It was a gorgeous light sixties building – we were so privileged, with large studio space, grants for materials and travel and student grants, those were the days! I graduated with a first-class honours degree. I have also lived in Rome and London for spells of time. Cambridge is a great city to live in with so much culture and masses of art and music. I love the fens and the vast skies which induce dream and reflection.