Q&A: My West Hampstead


- Credit: Archant

Artist Carla Groppi has won many awards among which is the Hugh Casson prize for her drawing shown at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

What brought you to West Hampstead?

Mainly love. I was born and brought up in Soho. I then met the man I was to marry and as he lived in West Hampstead I moved to be with him. After living in Soho, I wondered what West Hampstead would be like but I wasn’t disappointed.

What makes West Hampstead unique?

I love the variety, the diversity of people, shops, restaurants, all nationalities mixed up together. It’s a great place to live. The Tricycle Cinema and Theatre are close by, also the Camden Arts Centre. This area used to be mainly Irish. We think our home might be inhabited by an Irish ghost.

You have a day off to spend where you live, what do you do?

I rarely have a day off as art is my life but if I do, after a leisurely breakfast I would visit Kenwood House in Hampstead. They have a wonderful Rembrandt self portrait that is such a treasure. I would spend the afternoon making pasta, then in the evening, friends over to enjoy the rare treat of my homemade spinach ravioli.

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If you were Ham&High editor, what would you focus on?

Focus more on the arts, artists, musicians, actors. It isn’t an easy path to take and there are so many talented artists out there who need all the support they can get. It is important to keep the arts and creativity alive.

Who is the most inspiring person you’ve ever met?

With Italian parents it has to be my mama and my two children Alessandro and Francesca. My mama painted, but would never finish her masterpieces, wet oil paintings hung all around our home so you had to be on your guard. Also my dearest friend, soprano Magdalena Kozyra. Her voice always moves me to tears.

What are your dreams and ambitions for the year ahead?

This year I am delighted to be one of the artists shortlisted for The Lynn Painter Stainer Prize and am looking forward to showing at The Mall galleries March 5-17. Being a practising artist is a dream come true.