This blog post is based around an image of Naples captured by a young artist, Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie, born and raised in Zimbabwe.
“My initial impression of the outskirts of Naples was that it felt familiar, a lot like Africa … and then I really began to notice the colours, the smells, the buildings and the people, and knew that it could only be Italy.
The things that stood out most to me about Naples were the colours. All the buildings were painted bright, lively colours the most popular being yellows and reds. Everywhere you looked you could see pattern: on the metal grating or gates; in the tiles; or even the way the scooters were lined up the narrow streets, alternating head to toe.
My favourite aspect of Naples was the doorways into buildings – all colourful and ornate. The ornate ones were in the newer part of town but in old Naples everything reachable from the ground upwards was covered in graffiti. Doorways were used as a type of frame for artists who spray-painted images, one on top of the other, until they were big, colourful canvasses, full of character and emotion.
Coming down from Castle St Elmo, which is one of the main elements in my image, I began to see Naples more clearly for what it is with its narrow streets, Italian cooking smells wafting out of the windows, and the chaotic atmosphere of people rushing to and fro. Although at times a little overwhelming it was an enjoyable experience filled with culture and character.
Down in the bay as you look up towards Castle St Elmo there is a patchwork of colourful houses that seem to perch on the hillside.
The bay, a recognizable element of Naples that is used in postcards, is also shown in my image along with the monastery below Castle St Elmo where you can see the three bells in the tower (I wanted to include religion which I gather is very important to the people of Naples).
Also in the image is Vesuvius, easy to recognise and one of my favourite parts of the Naples area to visit.
Then there are the fireworks which are set off almost every night to mark birthdays and other events (not sure what events). On my last night just outside Naples I got a spectacular firework display … so basically my image portrays all my favourite parts of Naples in one.
To make the image I used Photoshop and put the three images on top of each other, sized and placed them in the correct place, then applied a filter to make it look like a poster and then colorized it.”
Attended Chisipite Senior School.
“Prefer to do digital work (graphic design) but want to explore other areas in art. I will be doing that with a one year foundation in Art and Design at Cardiff Arts Academy, starting this September.”
Copyright of the text and graphic design image in this piece belong to Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie (2016).
The photographs belong either to Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie or Elizabeth Ahlefeldt (as labelled). All other photographs are The Phraser’s (2018).