Interview with Gemma Kauffman: A Portal Into the Unknown

Interview with Gemma Kauffman: A Portal Into the Unknown

Gemma Kauffman has recently joined Increase Art, bringing her expressive summary paintings to the platform. Gemma has an unique approach to portray she meditates to dive deep in her consciousness, channeling spontaneous expression. Unhindered by the intellect her work expresses the attractiveness of the normal earth as seasoned by way of the unseen, ethereal lens of the soul.

Gemma meditating in the studio.


How would you describe your inventive design and style?

Non secular, Abstract. Expressive.

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


What information and/or themes do you want to talk in your perform?

My operate has a theme of soul making and internal planet activation/direction. For me paintings are a portal into the mysterious, they can just take us over and above the area of lifestyle and into the depth of Remaining. The immediacy of paint is the ideal accompaniment to meditation for checking out a degree of consciousness in which everything is connected. 

There is also a lightness and a joy that arrives as a result of from operating rapidly with spontaneous, expressive marks. Pursuing the circulation of instinct is enjoyable, it is like browsing, you have to be really, very existing. I discover that doing the job in abstraction provides some variety of one of a kind synthesis and integration to the overall body, head and spirit.

I know that when I’m painting I’m hyper informed of the worth of dreaming, of liminal house. Of prioritising a space that is unstructured and unknown, valuing a place for internal life to perform out and transform.

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


How has your practice developed around the decades? Have you normally labored in an abstract fashion?

My design has become more and more summary, the extra comfy I am in the realm of the abstract, the far more pure the expression is. My early paintings have a lot more tips of narrative hints of landscapes and figures, leaning to symbolism. There employed to be this pressure involving narrative and abstraction and I actually savored this interplay. It had great vitality and taught me so a great deal about unique levels of recognition, this sort of as the particular, the archetypal, and the transcendent. Long in advance of I started learning Vedic Information and Depth Psychology, I experienced the raw working experience of paintings that were extremely highly effective formative learnings. These days I have additional vocabulary and I’m additional familiar with what’s taking place. I like contemplating back to what it was like to go on those people early portray journeys, I could not fairly imagine what was happening.

Over and above Retro, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 76 x 61cm

I have turn out to be additional and far more at relieve with the portray approach. I utilized to truly feel like I was portray for my existence! So a great deal depth. Each individual canvas would be five paintings in 1. Partly a absence of methods, partly not being aware of when/how to prevent. Now with much more decades of meditation and becoming a trainer of meditation, I trust the process. I can obtain the internal states that enable me to circulation with the existing. I’m a lot more attuned to the subtleties of the encounter. I feel like paintings get pleasure from working with me, they know I do my finest to hear, that I can be daring and that I will not try out to hold on, if the route of the portray is to let go. 


What is actually an ordinary working day like in your studio?

The initially second that I’m through the doorway I’m often taken again by how shiny and stunning the space is. The initial couple of moments are like stepping into a desire. I’m usually with my faithful companion Nina, I enjoy the sound of her paws padding down the corridor as we strategy the studio.

If I have a new portray, I go straight to it and sit down and drink in what is taking place. Noticing what I detect, it’s often quite revealing, pretty curious how diverse a painting is the first time I have stepped away and then arrive again. It’s the beginning of a new marriage, a new journey. I’m not composing nearly anything, I am not definitely even pondering about everything, just being, just hanging out. I appreciate just hanging out in vibration, in intelligence, in an otherworldly location. It’s so peaceful and energising.

Gemma painting in the studio

I don’t have a program when I go to the studio. The studio may have a approach for me. Having through the doorway is my major job and from there it just goes the way it goes. If there is a blank canvas it is really difficult for me to resist. If there is an invitation for me to continue on an present painting I just go with it. Sometimes I’m extra reflective. I am going to select up old sketch guides and ponder, it’s possible choose a divination card. I like not actually knowing what I’m performing. I can not power myself to do matters I do not want to do when I’m in that house. The studio is the place to calibrate, truly feel the possibility, tune in.

It took a lengthy time to get the studio the way I desired. Quite a few good friends served me along the way, painting and constructing and organising, there have been so many unique chapters of studio life. So numerous phases of power, I utilized to do a great deal of unique stuff, these types of as dressing up, cocooning myself in fabric, 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 amongst room, a dream area. If I was to meditate and slide asleep at the studio I’d continue to take into consideration it a fantastic day at the studio.


What/who are your essential influences?

Artist smart I feel grateful for artists such as Yayoi Kusama and Hilma af Klint. I experience like both of those these women gave me permission to be as intense as is needed, to adhere to the threads of intuition. I feel like they the two knowledgeable that the operate they established had a existence power of its have and that they were seriously responding to the will of the artwork, instead than the other way spherical. It can experience a bit out there often, so I enjoy artists that have absent to these deep areas and shared their story.

Colour has a big influence on me. It has always been like that. The feelings that diverse colours emit, in particular from flowers and plants blows my intellect. A massive component 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 and every other, it’s the juxtaposition and distinction that generates new colours. I see that canvas and paint is the ideal playground to learn what is possible with colour, with what feelings and atmospheres can be designed and what power can be expressed. I necessarily mean that in phrases of color composition, colour harmony, color clash/pop, there are no policies, colors do surprising points, specifically with changing light-weight. Dusk for illustration is remarkable, the powdery lilac shimmer that seems as an auric edge… I have not even started out to really go there still. Just one day. When we transfer closer to nature I will sense additional deeply into these mysteries and see how it arrives via in my get the job done.

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

Depth psychology is a huge affect, Carl Jung, his journey of individuation through active creativity. This resonates with me so deeply. I’m very very clear that by means of the paintings that have come via me above the several years that I’ve been equipped to heal and renovate some very deep things in my consciousness. Though Jung has lived the example of what is feasible, Joseph Campbell has offered us the archetypal template of the hero journey so that we can framework and navigate our mythic life, the soul daily life. This is the wonderful journey of our existence, everything else is noise. You would think with Rudolf Steiner, Carl Jung and James Hillman, that with all these terrific academics that as a culture we would recognise the worth of cultivating our deep intuition, the initiation of the inward journey. We will need to come to be the shamans of our very own existence, to die and be reborn symbolically around and above all over again. Rather we acquire stuff and hope for the very best.

Textiles, I’m nuts about outdated retro materials, I love the overstuffed fabric retailers in Spain and France for case in point. The color is accurate, cloth these days it is really a lie, the colours don’t sing, there is always a trace of black dye muddying the colour. It bothers me, it messes with my sensibilities, I really don’t want men and women to start out thinking this is what color is. If colour does not make your coronary heart sing – do not acknowledge it. It is not legitimate.

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 developing an expertise with her portray. It also feels fairly textile, the painterly equal of patchwork. Also that experience of exploration, transcribing her wondering throughout the floor. Not fearful to invoke the inner child, in simple fact appreciating and inviting this level of expression. You know it would be energising to hold out with her paintings, it would not be doable to be passive. I like her use of color interaction – colours bouncing off each other right here, there and all over the place, still there is coherence, there is wholeness.

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


Are you now performing on any exciting new assignments?

Yes. A undertaking is in the pipeline combining non secular coaching with paintings. I have bought a group of paintings, most of them arrived by way of within a two 12 months period of time and they seem to be to want to stay jointly. I feel like I’m acquiring ‘downloads’ that they have a team mission that they want me to come on board with.

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

I love divination cards. I really do not get the job done with tarot, despite the fact that a single day I may well. I have numerous other decks of playing cards. My favourites are the Enlightenment playing cards. I also have The Divine Feminine playing cards, Electrical power Animals, so quite a few various playing cards for various chapters of daily life. At the beginning of this calendar year, soon after having my daughter 4 months before, I was at the studio for the 1st time, hanging out, feeling genuinely unsure about what was going on with my painting everyday living.

I experienced no power to paint. I was way much more into receiving the electrical power from the different paintings, so I just enable my awareness go there and I started out to get so a lot power that for the first time, I began crafting it down. Every single portray preferred to share some key healing themes with me. So I experienced a notebook of dialogue with each individual of these paintings. Then the impression came into my thoughts to build 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 check card sets, just like the 1 I noticed in my mind’s eye. Then the thought pale and life obtained fast paced all over again. I gave a number of to my close friends as gifts, ones that I know actually recognize playing cards, good friends that have been on card journeys. Then in the last month or so it got genuinely energetic once more and I begun coaching all over again. When persons were at the studio I’d find myself inquiring them to decide on a card and then we would meditate with the corresponding painting and wonderful things began to happen.

Gemma keeping up the card that corresponds to the painting

People today would have wild epiphany, clarity, emotion, better self advice and I just variety of mediated the entire matter utilizing my coaching skills to hold the area for what was going on. So it is truly opened my eyes to what’s possible in this article. I never want to get enthusiastic and try and make it something before it is all set. I’m extra open up to the strategy that I could possibly have to find a way to help the paintings reside out their desire to be healing guides. Irrespective of whether that can happen in a gallery place or a non secular retreat area I’m not certain.

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

It’s a logistical nightmare mainly because they are big items. On common each individual one particular has at least 1 edge of the canvas 1m or bigger so I can’t just put them in the vehicle. So I you should not know what the future stage will be. I know from the earliest times I experienced a feeling that the paintings have been a lot more like academics and I’ve needed to lead to this standpoint of painting getting a living entity. This advancement feels an extension of this concept, using the phase so that people can essentially knowledge what it signifies to journey inward and acquire inner assistance with guidance from the abstract realm.

Gemma exhibiting her card sets

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