Bauche puts her spirituality on the canvas

Gisele Bauche describes art as soul language. Her new show Ebb and Flow of Life, currently at the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery, is an expression of her spirituality through art.

While a wide range of styles, going from traditional religious icons to abstract pieces, Bauche says that it all fits together, and each piece informs the next one she does.

“It all works together, it all informs each other... It gives me insight when I’m doing different mediums and subjects, it offers new possibilities to me. I’m creating something new and developing something into being.”

Creation is Bauche’s goal. While each different style takes a different process to create, the act of creating each piece is the most important part for her and why she keeps pushing in different directions.

“The key thing for me is the creative process... I see art as for the sake of art, it’s not the end product, it’s what happening in that process. For me, when I’m in the process of painting, it’s a sacred place for me, it’s a contemplative place for me, it’s a meditative place for me where I can be in the present moment.”

The process is what defines the work, with Bauche describing it as a relationship between the artist and their medium.

“There’s a moment when you’re painting on that canvas when the canvas starts taking on its own life. There’s a point where there’s a relationship that develops between you and the canvas itself. The point is, are you going to listen to that voice or are you not? Are you going to have a receptive relationship with that painting or are you not? It’s just like life, if you have a relationship, and there’s not receptivity going back between the two, you lose the relationship.”

One of the links between the works is texture, which is present in all the work, whether in subtle ways, such as in the background of the painting Madonna, or as a dominating feature of the work, such as in the Rain Writing series.

“I love doing texture because it’s going deeper into a painting. Allowing a painting not to be flat, it’s giving it another dimension... The texture gives it a full new dimension. It’s like our lives, we’re layered.”

Bauche credits her career as an artist to her father Albert Bauche, and says she would not be here today without his influence, his mentorship and his support. As he was an educator in Yorkton, Bauche is discovering the influence he had on others, and says it’s emotional to hear that he was also an influence and impact he has had other people.

“I don’t know how many people have said to me how much my father influenced their art today. Who he was, the workshops he offered, the classes that have had a lifetime effect on others... His presence is here, his spirit is here.”

Ebb and Flow of Life runs until December 21.

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