Interview with Gemma Kauffman: A Portal Into the Unknown

Interview with Gemma Kauffman: A Portal Into the Unknown

Gemma Kauffman has lately joined Increase Artwork, bringing her expressive abstract paintings to the platform. Gemma has an person approach to painting she meditates to dive deep inside her consciousness, channeling spontaneous expression. Unhindered by the intellect her do the job expresses the elegance of the natural environment as skilled by means of the unseen, ethereal lens of the soul.

Gemma meditating in the studio.


How would you describe your creative design and style?

Religious, Summary. Expressive.

Chakra, 2019, acrylic, oil, ink, collage, pigment, 150 x 100cm


What concept and/or themes do you want to communicate in your function?

My operate has a theme of soul making and inner earth activation/guidance. For me paintings are a portal into the not known, they can just take us over and above the surface area of life and into the depth of Being. The immediacy of paint is the fantastic accompaniment to meditation for discovering a degree of consciousness in which almost everything is related. 

There is also a lightness and a pleasure that comes by from doing the job immediately with spontaneous, expressive marks. Pursuing the circulation of instinct is entertaining, it’s like surfing, you have to be extremely, incredibly present. I discover that functioning in abstraction brings some sort of distinctive synthesis and integration to the overall body, intellect and spirit.

I know that when I’m portray I’m hyper conscious of the great importance of dreaming, of liminal house. Of prioritising a room that is unstructured and unknown, valuing a place for interior daily life to perform out and change.

Enchanted Bliss, 2020, Japanese acrylic, 120 x 100cm


How has your practice advanced over the years? Have you normally labored in an summary style?

My type has grow to be increasingly abstract, the more comfy I am in the realm of the abstract, the more pure the expression is. My early paintings have a lot more solutions of narrative hints of landscapes and figures, leaning in the direction of symbolism. There used to be this pressure amongst narrative and abstraction and I genuinely liked this interaction. It experienced tremendous electrical power and taught me so substantially about distinctive levels of awareness, these kinds of as the particular, the archetypal, and the transcendent. Long in advance of I began researching Vedic Information and Depth Psychology, I had the raw practical experience of paintings that have been incredibly effective formative learnings. These times I have extra vocabulary and I’m far more acquainted with what’s occurring. I like considering again to what it was like to go on all those early portray journeys, I couldn’t very feel what was happening.

Beyond Retro, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 61cm

I have develop into additional and a lot more at simplicity with the painting procedure. I employed to really feel like I was portray for my lifestyle! So considerably depth. Each and every canvas would be five paintings in one particular. Partly a absence of assets, partly not recognizing when/how to quit. Now with a lot more years of meditation and starting to be a teacher of meditation, I belief the procedure. I can access the internal states that allow me to stream with the present. I’m far more attuned to the subtleties of the working experience. I experience like paintings enjoy functioning with me, they know I do my most effective to pay attention, that I can be daring and that I will not try to keep on, if the direction of the portray is to permit go. 


What is an typical day like in your studio?

The to start with second that I’m through the door I’m always taken back by how brilliant and lovely the area is. The to start with several times are like stepping into a desire. I’m commonly with my trustworthy companion Nina, I adore the sound of her paws padding down the corridor as we technique the studio.

If I have a new painting, I go straight to it and sit down and consume in what is occurring. Noticing what I discover, it is always extremely revealing, pretty curious how unique a painting is the initial time I’ve stepped away and then occur back again. It is the commencing of a new relationship, a new journey. I’m not producing just about anything, I am not really even imagining about anything at all, just remaining, just hanging out. I like just hanging out in vibration, in intelligence, in an otherworldly location. It is so tranquil and energising.

Gemma painting in the studio

I never have a plan when I go to the studio. The studio may well have a prepare for me. Finding by the doorway is my major task and from there it just goes the way it goes. If there is a blank canvas it really is tricky for me to resist. If there’s an invitation for me to keep on an existing portray I just go with it. Occasionally I’m a lot more reflective. I will choose up previous sketch textbooks and ponder, possibly decide on a divination card. I like not seriously being aware of what I’m undertaking. I simply cannot force myself to do matters I do not want to do when I’m in that room. The studio is the place to calibrate, sense the possibility, tune in.

It took a extensive time to get the studio the way I preferred. Several mates aided me alongside the way, painting and developing and organising, there have been so many diverse chapters of studio life. So several phases of power, I used to do a whole lot of different things, such as dressing up, cocooning myself in cloth, photography, movie, creating, often drawing, a good deal of ritual variety exploration, all of it has been discovery. The studio is an extension of a portray, it is an in involving space, a aspiration area. If I was to meditate and drop asleep at the studio I’d however look at it a fantastic day at the studio.


What/who are your critical influences?

Artist smart I sense grateful for artists these types of as Yayoi Kusama and Hilma af Klint. I really feel like each these girls gave me permission to be as intense as is important, to stick to the threads of instinct. I truly feel like they the two knowledgeable that the work they created experienced a lifetime drive of its have and that they ended up really responding to the will of the artwork, instead than the other way spherical. It can sense a bit out there often, so I take pleasure in artists that have long gone to these deep places and shared their story.

Colour has a significant affect on me. It has constantly been like that. The inner thoughts that diverse colours emit, particularly from bouquets and plants blows my thoughts. A major component of what I do at the canvas is experiment with how paint can match the saturation of geranium petals for instance. Colors relate to just about every other, it’s the juxtaposition and contrast that creates new colours. I see that canvas and paint is the fantastic playground to explore what is feasible with color, with what thoughts and atmospheres can be created and what electricity can be expressed. I necessarily mean that in phrases of colour composition, colour harmony, color clash/pop, there are no principles, colours do sudden items, particularly with changing gentle. Dusk for instance is incredible, the powdery lilac shimmer that seems as an auric edge… I have not even started out to definitely go there still. One particular working day. When we move closer to mother nature I will truly feel far more deeply into these mysteries and see how it will come by way of in my perform.

Egyptian Infinite, 2021, acrylic paint, oil paint, gold leaf, gold ink, oil pastel, chalk, varnish, 90 x 90cm

Depth psychology is a major influence, Carl Jung, his journey of individuation by using energetic creativity. This resonates with me so deeply. I’m really clear that by the paintings that have appear by means of me around the several years that I’ve been in a position to recover and renovate some very deep stuff in my consciousness. While Jung has lived the example of what is attainable, Joseph Campbell has provided us the archetypal template of the hero journey so that we can construction and navigate our mythic daily life, the soul lifestyle. This is the excellent experience of our life, anything else is sound. You would feel with Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung and James Hillman, that with all these fantastic academics that as a culture we would recognise the value of cultivating our deep intuition, the initiation of the inward journey. We require to turn out to be the shamans of our possess existence, to die and be reborn symbolically more than and more than once again. In its place we buy stuff and hope for the ideal.

Textiles, I’m insane about previous retro materials, I like the overstuffed material outlets in Spain and France for example. The color is true, fabric these days it’s a lie, the colours will not sing, there is generally a trace of black dye muddying the colour. It bothers me, it messes with my sensibilities, I never want persons to start off imagining this is what colour is. If colour doesn’t make your coronary heart sing – do not acknowledge it. It really is not real.

Storm Flower, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90cm


Who are some Rise Artists you’re enjoying? 

I like Rebecca Hardaker. The way she is generating an practical experience with her portray. It also feels rather textile, the painterly equivalent of patchwork. Also that sensation of exploration, transcribing her pondering across the floor. Not frightened to invoke the inner baby, in reality appreciating and inviting this amount of expression. You know it would be energising to hang out with her paintings, it wouldn’t be doable to be passive. I like her use of color interplay – colors bouncing off each and every other right here, there and in all places, nonetheless there is coherence, there is wholeness.

I satisfied her in the rainforest, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90cm


Are you at present performing on any interesting new assignments?

Indeed. A undertaking is in the pipeline combining non secular coaching with paintings. I’ve received a group of paintings, most of them arrived via in just a two calendar year interval and they appear to want to stay with each other. I truly feel like I’m getting ‘downloads’ that they have a group mission that they want me to come on board with.

Historic Ethereal, 2020, acrylic paint, oil pastel, chalk, varnish spray, 150 x 100cm

I adore divination cards. I really do not function with tarot, although one day I could. I have many other decks of playing cards. My favourites are the Enlightenment playing cards. I also have The Divine Feminine cards, Electric power Animals, so a lot of distinctive playing cards for different chapters of everyday living. At the starting of this 12 months, immediately after owning my daughter 4 months earlier, I was at the studio for the first time, hanging out, feeling truly not sure about what was heading on with my portray life.

I had no strength to paint. I was way much more into receiving the power from the distinct paintings, so I just let my notice go there and I commenced to get so considerably vitality that for the initial time, I started out writing it down. Each and every painting preferred to share some important healing themes with me. So I experienced a notebook of dialogue with every single of these paintings. Then the impression arrived into my intellect to build a deck of cards relating to this group of paintings. In the fashion of a divination deck.

Gemma finding a card

So, I made a couple of examination card sets, just like the 1 I noticed in my mind’s eye. Then the plan faded and lifestyle obtained active once again. I gave a couple to my mates as presents, kinds that I know seriously respect cards, close friends that have been on card journeys. Then in the last thirty day period or so it bought really energetic once more and I began coaching yet again. When people today had been at the studio I’d discover myself asking them to opt for a card and then we would meditate with the corresponding portray and astounding stuff begun to take place.

Gemma holding up the card that corresponds to the portray

People today would have wild epiphany, clarity, emotion, bigger self steering and I just sort of mediated the complete issue utilizing my coaching techniques to keep the room for what was occurring. So it’s genuinely opened my eyes to what is doable below. I really don’t want to get excited and test and make it anything prior to it’s ready. I’m far more open up to the strategy that I could have to come across a way to assist the paintings dwell out their want to be therapeutic guides. Irrespective of whether that can happen in a gallery room or a spiritual retreat space I’m not positive.

By means of This Chaos, 2017, acrylic, ink, oil, pigment, varnish, 120 x 100cm

It’s a logistical nightmare simply because they are big items. On ordinary just about every one particular has at least one particular edge of the canvas 1m or even bigger so I are not able to just set them in the car or truck. So I don’t know what the future phase will be. I know from the earliest times I had a feeling that the paintings have been much more like instructors and I have needed to lead to this point of view of portray becoming a living entity. This improvement feels an extension of this strategy, getting the phase so that individuals can truly encounter what it means to journey inward and receive inner steering with assist from the summary realm.

Gemma displaying her card sets

I’d really like for it to come about in London but it may not be the most fertile put. Japan and Portugal are on the radar.

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