artist statement

work

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My work is derived from an innately female approach as ‘gatherer’, which has led me on a seemingly endless journey of the exploration life on this planet and of the exquisite forms and patterns of the natural world. From the design of the tiniest cell viewed in a microscope, which I often turned to for the delicate structure of my filagree metal work, to the incorporation of actual objects, whole or in part, nature provides me with both material and direction.

The lonely path of disability has often left me with only with a solitary introspective journey as a way to comprehend and explore the rest of the world. My pieces are also a reflection of this journey. They provide a very intimate interaction for the viewer and suggest that as we look inward, we may discover our internal interconnectedness to the world around us.

 

Sadly, my artistic practice caused me, through personal injury, to experience the terrible impact of human destruction of the natural world.

 

Through fine grinding and material preparations I became unexpectedly exposed to some of the very pollutants (methyl mercury, arsenic and lead) that damage our environment. The impact on my already poor medical condition was severe. I suffered neurological damage, substantial hearing loss and severe and permanently debilitating mental health consequences before my medical practitioners were able to identify the poisoning.

 

Grief in the aftermath, both for myself and for the planet continues to permeate my art form as I explore underlying sociological deformity that traumatizes our world, our relationships to each other and to the environment.

In a reverent examination of the remains of life discovered and collected, such as shells, bones and dried plant life, I found the aspiration to echo the achievements of the natural world.

 

Using small amounts of embedded precious metal and stones amongst the natural materials, it has been my intention to evoke a sensation of treasure in proximity to the actual treasures (defined by their ever increasing scarcity) that nature has provided. Within my pieces as a whole, which in themselves discuss very human experience, it is intention that we also experience an epiphany regarding our own underlying symbiotic interconnection to all life on the planet.

 

My scale is very small due to the restrictions of many long years of chronic illness and confinement, and my work always includes removable anatomical components, which on some level, reflects my own exploration of the failures of my body. The vital organs, interior and exterior, are represented by the remains of other living creatures and express not only our symbiotic connection to the ecosystem, but also “Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” (Ernst Haeckel) - that our own cellular development echoes the history of evolution and that all stages of all life are contained within us.

artist statement

work

contact

gillian genser

contact gillian genser at

gill@gilliangenser.com