Born in in the Netherlands. After living on and off in New York, Amsterdam and London for the past 20 years, Gwen has moved from London to Tokyo after receiving her MA Fine Art degree from The Cass, London Metropolitan University. She is a mixed media artist and works mainly with combinations of (tarnished) silver leaf, acrylic and photo transfers. Her work is about distorted memories and fantasy land/seascapes. Gwen’s work is in several private collections all over the world. She was shortlisted for the ‘Show me the Monet’ TV-show February, 2012, won the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea photography contest in London in 2010 and several of her works have been used to advertise The Cass.
My work has moved from experimental in terms of processes, materials and resulting output to focused, clean and intentional. Operating initially from the concept of the gradual changes of the impact and meaning of memories, it became clear to me that cultural underpinning was absent in my work but rather that a photo-negative of that cultural embedded-ness presented itself with motives of desolation and displacement. Over time the concern appears to shift to the general potential of desolation rather than the desolation and displacement of me.
I think that style is something that is necessarily created without preconceived notions. It comes from allowing yourself to work from a highly vulnerable state of being, continuously attempting to create images that feel and taste pure to one self. The appearance of style then, in my view, signifies that a level of consistency is being attained. In this sense style is important since it marks one as an artist.
MATERIALS & PROCESS
Materiality of paint and surface are more important than narrative in my works. The materials I am using for most of my works are silver leaf or aluminum leaf and corrosive that reacts with the silver. Silver has a number of qualities that appeal to me. Its sheen and its color gives the work the illusion of being alive. Silver or aluminum leaf also allows for organized mark making that gives the work a quality of anonymity. Silver represents the spiritual as well as the hard edged world of new technology.
There is a relatively limited type of adjectives that cling to my paintings: intricate, quiet, lyrical, seductive, mysterious and atmospheric; not at all aggressive despite the occasional corrosive spot. The works are invasive, whether metallic and/or phosphorescent, translucent, or monochromatic in color. The silver reflects bursts of light back at the viewer. The light is not in the painting, it is on the painting. They discourage stationary viewing necessitating multi-angled tours of the canvas in order to form a complete image of it. The reflectivity especially emphasizes the unfixed nature of things, this destabilization almost becomes the subject or content of the painting.