Interview with Gemma Kauffman: A Portal Into the Unknown

Gemma Kauffman has not long ago joined Increase Art, bringing her expressive abstract paintings to the system. Gemma has an individual technique to portray she meditates to dive deep within just her consciousness, channeling spontaneous expression. Unhindered by the intellect her do the job expresses the beauty of the normal entire world as experienced by way of the unseen, ethereal lens of the soul.

Gemma meditating in the studio.


How would you explain your artistic model?

Spiritual, Abstract. Expressive.

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


What information and/or themes do you want to connect in your function?

My function has a theme of soul generating and inner earth activation/assistance. For me paintings are a portal into the unknown, they can take us outside of the floor of lifestyle and into the depth of Becoming. The immediacy of paint is the best accompaniment to meditation for exploring a amount of consciousness where anything is linked. 

There is also a lightness and a joy that will come as a result of from doing work swiftly with spontaneous, expressive marks. Following the movement of intuition is entertaining, it is like browsing, you have to be very, really existing. I discover that working in abstraction delivers some sort of one of a kind synthesis and integration to the entire body, intellect and spirit.

I know that when I’m painting I’m hyper conscious of the relevance of dreaming, of liminal place. Of prioritising a room that is unstructured and mysterious, valuing a position for internal lifetime to participate in out and completely transform.

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


How has your practice progressed around the several years? Have you often worked in an summary design?

My design and style has turn into more and more summary, the far more snug I am in the realm of the summary, the far more pure the expression is. My early paintings have more strategies of narrative hints of landscapes and figures, leaning towards symbolism. There made use of to be this tension in between narrative and abstraction and I actually liked this interplay. It had monumental strength and taught me so much about distinct levels of consciousness, these as the private, the archetypal, and the transcendent. Long right before I started finding out Vedic Awareness and Depth Psychology, I had the uncooked working experience of paintings that were being very highly effective formative learnings. These times I have far more vocabulary and I’m additional acquainted with what’s happening. I like wondering again to what it was like to go on those early portray journeys, I couldn’t really consider what was happening.

Outside of Retro, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 61cm

I’ve develop into additional and more at ease with the portray process. I made use of to really feel like I was painting for my existence! So substantially intensity. Every single canvas would be five paintings in just one. Partly a lack of methods, partly not figuring out when/how to halt. Now with more yrs of meditation and turning into a teacher of meditation, I rely on the approach. I can obtain the interior states that permit me to circulation with the existing. I’m far more attuned to the subtleties of the practical experience. I truly feel like paintings get pleasure from doing work with me, they know I do my best to hear, that I can be daring and that I will not consider to hold on, if the direction of the painting is to let go. 


What is an normal working day like in your studio?

The first second that I’m by means of the door I’m constantly taken back again by how brilliant and stunning the place is. The initial few moments are like stepping into a desire. I’m normally with my trustworthy companion Nina, I love the seem of her paws padding down the corridor as we solution the studio.

If I have a new portray, I go straight to it and sit down and consume in what is going on. Noticing what I notice, it is constantly extremely revealing, incredibly curious how unique a painting is the 1st time I’ve stepped absent and then arrive back again. It is the starting of a new romantic relationship, a new journey. I’m not creating anything at all, I’m not really even pondering about something, just staying, just hanging out. I adore just hanging out in vibration, in intelligence, in an otherworldly area. It’s so peaceful and energising.

Gemma portray in the studio

I really do not have a system when I go to the studio. The studio might have a program for me. Acquiring through the doorway is my primary work and from there it just goes the way it goes. If there is a blank canvas it is tough for me to resist. If there is an invitation for me to continue on an present painting I just go with it. Often I’m more reflective. I am going to select up outdated sketch publications and ponder, possibly decide on a divination card. I like not genuinely realizing what I’m undertaking. I can’t power myself to do items I don’t want to do when I’m in that space. The studio is the position to calibrate, feel the likelihood, tune in.

It took a prolonged time to get the studio the way I desired. Quite a few pals served me alongside the way, painting and making and organising, there have been so many distinctive chapters of studio lifestyle. So quite a few phases of energy, I utilized to do a whole lot of various things, these kinds of as dressing up, cocooning myself in cloth, images, film, crafting, usually drawing, a great deal of exploration, all of it has been discovery. The studio is an extension of a painting, it is an in between space, a dream area. If I was to meditate and drop asleep at the studio I’d still think about it a superior working day at the studio.


What/who are your essential influences?

Artist wise I experience grateful for artists these types of as Yayoi Kusama and Hilma af Klint. I sense like both equally these women gave me authorization to be as intensive as is important, to abide by the threads of instinct. I really feel like they both of those experienced that the perform they designed experienced a existence pressure of its individual and that they were being really responding to the will of the artwork, alternatively than the other way spherical. It can feel a little bit out there at times, so I respect artists that have absent to these deep areas and shared their story.

Colour has a massive influence on me. It has generally been like that. The emotions that distinct colours emit, in particular from bouquets and vegetation blows my head. A significant part of what I do at the canvas is experiment with how paint can match the saturation of geranium petals for example. Colours relate to each individual other, it’s the juxtaposition and distinction that results in new colours. I see that canvas and paint is the ideal playground to uncover what is probable with color, with what thoughts and atmospheres can be developed and what power can be expressed. I suggest that in terms of color composition, colour harmony, color clash/pop, there are no rules, colours do unexpected things, in particular with transforming gentle. Dusk for case in point is remarkable, the powdery lilac shimmer that appears as an auric edge… I haven’t even begun to definitely go there yet. A person working day. When we go closer to mother nature I will come to feel much more deeply into these mysteries and see how it arrives by means of in my do the job.

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

Depth psychology is a significant impact, Carl Jung, his journey of individuation through active imagination. This resonates with me so deeply. I’m really apparent that as a result of the paintings that have come via me above the decades that I’ve been in a position to mend and change some extremely deep things in my consciousness. When Jung has lived the instance of what is feasible, Joseph Campbell has offered us the archetypal template of the hero journey so that we can construction and navigate our mythic daily life, the soul existence. This is the wonderful journey of our everyday living, everything else is sound. You would believe with Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung and James Hillman, that with all these great instructors that as a lifestyle we would recognise the benefit of cultivating our deep intuition, the initiation of the inward journey. We need to turn into the shamans of our individual existence, to die and be reborn symbolically more than and in excess of once again. Alternatively we invest in things and hope for the greatest.

Textiles, I’m insane about previous retro fabrics, I love the overstuffed material shops in Spain and France for case in point. The color is true, fabric these times it can be a lie, the colours never sing, there is often a trace of black dye muddying the color. It bothers me, it messes with my sensibilities, I really don’t want men and women to start wondering this is what color is. If color does not make your heart sing – never settle for it. It can be not real.

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


Who are some Rise Artists you are having fun with? 

I like Rebecca Hardaker. The way she is making an knowledge with her painting. It also feels rather textile, the painterly equivalent of patchwork. Also that emotion of exploration, transcribing her considering throughout the surface. Not afraid to invoke the interior little one, in truth appreciating and inviting this stage of expression. You know it would be energising to cling out with her paintings, it would not be probable to be passive. I like her use of color interplay – colours bouncing off every single other right here, there and all over the place, still there is coherence, there is wholeness.

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


Are you now doing the job on any thrilling new projects?

Certainly. A undertaking is in the pipeline combining spiritual coaching with paintings. I have obtained a team of paintings, most of them came via in just a two calendar year interval and they seem to want to remain alongside one another. I sense like I’m receiving ‘downloads’ that they have a group mission that they want me to occur on board with.

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

I adore divination cards. I never do the job with tarot, whilst a single day I might. I have a lot of other decks of playing cards. My favourites are the Enlightenment cards. I also have The Divine Female cards, Electrical power Animals, so many distinctive cards for distinct chapters of lifetime. At the beginning of this year, after acquiring my daughter 4 months earlier, I was at the studio for the to start with time, hanging out, experience seriously uncertain about what was likely on with my portray life.

I experienced no strength to paint. I was way a lot more into obtaining the strength from the diverse paintings, so I just allow my awareness go there and I began to obtain so considerably power that for the initially time, I began crafting it down. Each individual portray wished to share some vital healing themes with me. So I experienced a notebook of dialogue with just about every of these paintings. Then the graphic arrived into my intellect to make a deck of playing cards relating to this group of paintings. In the design of a divination deck.

Gemma finding a card

So, I produced a couple of test card sets, just like the a person I observed in my mind’s eye. Then the idea pale and lifestyle got fast paced again. I gave a couple to my close friends as gifts, kinds that I know genuinely respect playing cards, friends that have been on card journeys. Then in the very last month or so it obtained really energetic once again and I began coaching again. When persons have been at the studio I’d discover myself inquiring them to pick a card and then we would meditate with the corresponding painting and astounding things begun to take place.

Gemma keeping up the card that corresponds to the painting

Folks would have wild epiphany, clarity, emotion, bigger self advice and I just kind of mediated the whole thing making use of my coaching capabilities to hold the area for what was happening. So it is seriously opened my eyes to what’s possible here. I don’t want to get thrilled and check out and make it a little something ahead of it’s completely ready. I’m extra open up to the thought that I might have to discover a way to help the paintings dwell out their motivation to be therapeutic guides. Irrespective of whether that can happen in a gallery space or a non secular retreat room I’m not sure.

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

It’s a logistical nightmare because they are major parts. On typical every one has at least one edge of the canvas 1m or larger so I won’t be able to just put them in the motor vehicle. So I will not know what the upcoming stage will be. I know from the earliest times I experienced a sensation that the paintings were being more like lecturers and I’ve needed to lead to this standpoint of portray currently being a living entity. This growth feels an extension of this notion, getting the step so that folks can basically working experience what it suggests to journey inward and acquire interior assistance with support from the summary realm.

Gemma displaying her card sets

I’d enjoy for it to take place in London but it might not be the most fertile place. Japan and Portugal are on the radar.

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