Girls Gone Wild

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MEL GAUSDEN | GIRLS GONE WILD
BAU-XI VANCOUVER UPPER GALLERY | JANUARY 13 - 27
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 13, 2-4PM
ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE

Canadian landscape painting has mythologized the great outdoors through the work of Tom Thomson, A.Y. Jackson and David Milne. As a genre historically dominated by male painters, emerging artist Mel Gausden marks a departure from the landscape tradition by centralizing the experience of women in nature, and her own in Girls Gone Wild, the artist's inaugural exhibition at Bau-Xi Vancouver.

Typically overlooked in traditional landscape painting, Gausden's canvases feature women as outdoors people: active participants who build fires, climb fences, and carry their own canoes. Her female subjects, often situated or leaving evidence of their trace, discover themselves within the natural environment in which they gather, explore and commune.

The visual culture of our contemporary digital age informs Gausden's unconventional palette. Neon silhouettes and brightly hued accents take reference from pre-set Instagram camera filters, fashion and consumer trends. The artist'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— to sketchlike with her mark-making. For Gausden, the act of painting is intuitive as much as it is intentional; an exploratory act of personal and cultural identity which fuses past and present influences to create new possibilities for representation.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Mel Gausden explores themes of personal and cultural identity through traditions of self-portraiture and landscape painting. Her interests lie in combining visual markers and signifiers of nostalgia and Canadiana with painterly gesture, mark-making and bold highlights. The artist applies neon silhouettes evocative of “instagram-esque” colour filters to highlight the inherent distortion of our own personal narratives. In the end, these visual narratives end up as hybrids, part-reality and part-dreamscape.

Mel Gausden earned her Bachelor’s of Arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2009. She continues to live and work out of her studio in Toronto.