Mel Gausden is an artist who explores themes of personal and cultural identity through traditions of self-portraiture and landscape painting. Her work combines symbols and markers of Canadiana with painterly gesture, mark-making and bold highlights. Neon silhouettes add a contemporary freshness and highlight the inherent distortion of personal narratives. Gausden’s manipulation of oil paint varies from sculptural—bending and piling thick layers of paint into matchsticks of textured impasto—to painterly— diluting paint until it drips with controlled precision.
According to Gausden, “In my work I challenge notions of landscape as scenery. Just as the subjects are interacting with the landscape, the landscape is in turn interacting with the subject; neither are passive. Within my work I use neon silhouettes and “instagram-esque” colour schemes to highlight the inherent distortion of our own personal narratives. In the end these narratives end up as hybrids, part reality and part dreamscape.” Gausden, who was an Emerging Artist at Art Gems 2017, is now represented by Bau-Xi Gallery in Toronto and Vancouver.