Meet the Artist: Dana Georgescu

From a hobby that started during the pandemic, Dana Georgescu’s unique artwork is now much sought after. She creates unique pieces using seashells mounted onto canvas or wooden boards, reflecting the beauty of the ocean. 

A former Romanian primary school teacher, Dana has worked on cruise liners for an American company and has also lived in Italy and Switzerland. But it was Portugal and the Algarve that captured her heart. “It was always the place I dreamed of living one day, with the ocean, sand, good food and friendly people.”

During COVID-19, she would take long walks on the beach with her labrador puppy, collecting shells and returning home to transform them into works of art. She describes how she attempts to transmit the feelings and emotions stirred up by the ocean and the people she meets into something tangible and three-dimensional.

“I am trying to make people feel emotions and find in my art that ‘something’ to hang onto when times become hard. Locking their memories into a piece of art and getting their strength from there when they need it.”

Her studio stretches across her whole apartment. The kitchen is her carpentry area, and the bath is where she washes and disinfects her seashells to get them ready for the canvas. And for the final step of the process, Dana’s living room becomes a studio. “It’s not very tidy in there, especially when I start a new piece, there are shells all over the place. I arrange them by colour, size and so on, always searching for the right ones to fit into my work. I’m not very organised when it comes to my artistic world. I like to see everything and have all the shells spread out all over the place. That’s how they inspire me.”

Dana hopes that her art sparks an emotion in the viewer, that it makes them feel something. She explains that it doesn’t mean it has to be the same emotion as she was feeling when she created the piece, though. “As long as it makes them feel something, I have accomplished my objective.”

Her pieces certainly draw people in. She tells the story of a recent exhibition when a husband and wife were visiting the exhibition, each of them wandering around separately. First, the husband came to her booth and chatted a little about Romania and bird watching but didn’t comment on Dana’s art. A little while after he left, his wife came over and admired her artwork unbeknown to Dana (or her husband!) and said, “Wait, I’ll bring my husband to see your work and then I’ll decide.” It turned out they had both been drawn to the same piece of art. So, of course, they bought it!

One of Dana’s favourite paintings is Almond Blossom by Van Gogh because of its colours and composition. It even inspired one of her first works called Confidence, a mixed-media piece made with seashells, fan coral and sea urchins on canvas. She is also confident in her own abilities and decision-making. “There are times when you cannot listen to what other people say, but you must follow your instinct, your fire. I have been directed to work in mass production to increase my sales when this is far from what I am trying to establish. Each work I create is unique and unreproducible.”

Dana’s dream is to be a full-time artist, which would allow her to fully enjoy the process of creating and expressing her feelings on the canvas, bringing joy into people’s souls and encouraging them to reconnect with the pure beauty of nature.

She would love to exhibit not only locally but also internationally and expand her brand Dana G Shell Art, which is still in its embryonic stages. She is currently busy preparing some new works for her next collective exhibition at the Visionary Art Fair Exhibition at the Fissul in Silves from 24–26 March. And if she’s not busy creating, you’ll find her walking along the beach, being inspired by the ever-changing ocean.

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