A young artist’s first impressions of Naples, Italy

Impressions of Naples (2015) by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie

Impressions of Naples (2015) by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie

This blog post is based around an image of Naples captured by a young artist, Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie, born and raised in Zimbabwe.

Eliza on the Lungomare in Naples, Italy

Eliza on the Lungomare in Naples, Italy

“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.

Eliza with her camera in Naples, Italy

Eliza with one of her cameras in Naples, Italy

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.

Photograph by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie of a doorway in Naples, Italy

Photograph by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie of a doorway in Naples, Italy

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.

Walking one of the old stairways in Naples, the Pedamentina di San Martino, that leads down to the historic centre of the city from just below Castel Sant'Elmo

Walking one of the old stairways in Naples (XIV century), the Pedamentina a San Martino, that leads down to the historic centre of the city from just below Castel Sant’Elmo

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.

Photograph by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie of the 'patchwork of colourful houses' Naples, Italy

Photograph by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie of the ‘patchwork of colourful houses’ Naples, Italy

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).

Photograph by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie: view from Castel Sant'Elmo across the Bay of Naples to Vesuvius with the bells of the 'certoso di San Martino' in the foreground.

Photograph by Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie: view from Castel Sant’Elmo across the Bay of Naples to Vesuvius with the bells of the ‘certoso di San Martino’ in the foreground.

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.”  

Biography

Zimbabwean artist.

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 (2016).

3 thoughts on “A young artist’s first impressions of Naples, Italy

  1. Reblogged this on The Phraser and commented:

    A look back (first published 7 August 2015): part of the fun of being in Naples is the artists the city attracts. We had a few come through our door – Eliza Fraser-Mackenzie was one of the first. She has now finished her foundation course in Art and Design and is in her first year of a BA Textile degree in Cardiff.

    Like

    • Oh you are brilliant! So quick … thank you for your compliment to the blogger, and I completely agree with your comment on the piece of art – it is lovely. I can hear the bells in her image and then the sharp bang of the fireworks. As for Vesuvius …

      Liked by 1 person

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