Ilona Niemi, The Tiger’s Bride, oil on board, 2018

John Kinross Scholar in 2001


How did the experience affect you as an individual?
It was brilliant to see great Renaissance artwork in real life and to spend my evenings working on my sketchbooks. I filled in a few sketchbooks during my time in Italy. I also learned a little Italian, helped out at a vineyard and visited a sculpture workshop in Pietrasanta. The trip also taught me that I do not like to spend a long time in separation from my partner, but would rather travel with him. It is nicer to experience new things when you can share them with someone on the same wavelength.



What was the impact on your practice?
I still love Renaissance paintings, particularly Dutch painters such as Cranach and the flat background in his paintings. In terms of my artistic practice, I am not sure if the trip altered much: I have always enjoyed working in sketchbooks.



Ilona Niemi, Pisa Museo del Duomo, charcoal, 2002, RSA Collection

What would you say the long-term impact has been on yourself and you work?
The best thing was to see all the great Renaissance masters in real life; that experience will stay with me forever.