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About the artist

A BRIEF PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

Painter, sculptor, writer, teacher living in Sydney.

Giselle studied English and Archaeology honours at Sydney University as well as Biblical Studies, History, Anthropology and Fine Arts. She has taught both Art and English at university. Giselle was also involved with Visual Arts in government secondary schools. In 1991 after completing a Masters degree focussing on ceramic sculpture and 3D design at the University of Wales,UK, she returned to Sydney to teach in the National Art School, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, University of Western Sydney, the Sydney Institute, the Tafe system and other colleges.

She has exhibited paintings, drawings and sculptures in Australia and the UK. Her early self-taught work was included in university exhibitions. Later she exhibited in the  Blake Prize, Contemporary Arts , Oz Drawing Now (Holdsworth Galleries) and the Perspecta at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as well as  the Visual Arts Board, Australia Council. There were solo shows at the Holdsworth as well as the Mori and  Rex Irwin galleries. Last year her work was part of the soft sculpture exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Her thesis for English honours was focused on the 19th C novel. For the 1991 masters programme in the UK she completed a thesis on Myth and the archaic concept of time as well as a body of work in ceramic sculpture exhibited in the university gallery. Giselle has written for various arts journals on a variety of topics. Freelance articles for the  The Australian newspaper ranged from interviews with Aboriginal activist filmmakers to musicians, actors, artists.

MY PAINTINGS AND ART PRACTICE

I love our land and my heart is green. So these small paintings are based on landscape, real, imagined, remembered. Memories humming with energy direct the choice of allusive colours, the echoing textures, the presence of my work. The  images are grounded in my Australian experience  but they are tinted and expanded by my travels both physical and metaphysical. Traces of my  travels in Africa, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, America and Europe are played through my mind and add in to my understanding of what I have seen and felt in Australia.

There are many interpretations of landscape. While I enjoy idealised vistas cooled by zephyrs with artful ruins lit by azure skies I am after a different aesthetic and meaning. My art philosophy relies on distillation so these paintings are simplified, abstracted with no mapping from perspective.They are meditations produced in a meditative way. But whether I focus on the mystical, the rational, notions of alchemy, chthonic transformation or the arcane, my thoughts settle into a fertile sediment and are located on Earth. Always there is a melding of the physical and  the symbolic.

The surfaces of my paintings are like a history that echoes the geological process. There are layers of different art media that seep, crack and evolve over time as paint dries and textural effects are considered, changed. For me the landscape is not only about drought, growth, decay, accretion, erosion, fire, but it is movingly inscribed with ancient human traces from cave paintings and petroglyphs to cairns, menhirs, mastabas, stupas.

Geometry with its resonance of sacred geometry is a  a revered tool of the imagination that maps out consciousness, inner and outer space. Geometry is very meaningful to me from the beauty and numinous metaphoric magic of the circle, square, rectangle and triangle to the endless mathematical variations and expansion into 3D and more. It is wonderful to witness how this knowledge, this way of seeing gives form to ziggurats, temples, pyramids and penetrates into the heart of matter. Some of these thoughtforms are embodied in my paintings.

My work reflects the influence of many cultures past and present. An early exposure to Archaeology and Anthropology at university  shaped my artmaking and extended my thinking. I am a passionate admirer of contemporary Australian Aboriginal art and I know that some of this consciousness has changed my own awareness. There are so many artists who have inspired me from the deceptive simplicity of Japanese sumi-e to the spiritual abstractions of Rothko and the gutsy textures of Auerbach. I have been given so much. My charity project is offered in the hope of giving something back to children so that they too can go to school to extend their vision and see beyond just trying to survive.