Gilah Yelin Hirsch
My paintings begin with an idea, association, memory, word, phrase, image and context. Context includes physical, emotional and intellectual surroundings. As I work in a variety of media, (painting, writing, videography, photography), and in various disciplines, (art, psychology, psychiatry, literature, comparative medicine, anthropology, science of consciousness), culture as well as landscape is invariably reflected in my work.
I respond to the new image as it is formed, stroke by stroke, wash by wash, and I arrive at unfamiliar realms. As the continuously evolving image assumes form and dimension, I continue to coax it with greater light, shadow, texture. I add new associations, words, experiences throughout the gestation of the painting. At some points I drop a wash over the entire painting. When that dries, certain aspects of the image have been obscured and certain others revealed. I continue to illuminate and hide form until finally a thoroughly new image emerges, and seems to “breathe”. I know then that my task is to make it more of itself by tweaking the light/color/shadow to accentuate the dimensionality of the new form. In the last of the many months each work requires, (sometimes more than a year), I sit with it, waiting for it to “ask” to add light here, or add shadow there, increase texture here, or mitigate text there. Each painting is a world of its own, with its own rationality, its own sense of space, architecture, flora and sometimes fauna.
My process is one of call and response between my inner and outer worlds, a dynamic dialog between my self and the emerging image. For lack of a better appellation, I call this metaphysical surrealism.