Denise Gasser: Stanley Park, Vancouver


Denise Gasser is a mixed-media artist with a new collection called Stanley Park based on a popular park in her current home of Vancouver, British Columbia. Gasser explains, “With a contrast of soft organic layers and bold geometric accents, I capture the amazing intersection of deeply rooted wilderness and vibrant urban activity that puts Stanley Park among the top urban parks in the world. These trees are a steadfast, immovable link to the past, offering perspective and stability to the ever-changing present.” She was profiled previously on The Krakens for her series Tree Portraiture.

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Tell us about Stanley Park. I’m working on a series based on the amazing urban park here in Vancouver, British Columbia called Stanley Park. This park has been a sort of refuge for me since I moved to Vancouver. Whenever I’m missing family, or feeling outraged by the gray skies, or wondering why I’m living in one of the world’s most expensive cities…I go to Stanley Park. The incredible vistas of sea and sky, the vibrant energy of the people, and the towering trees wash over me like a calming breeze, and I breathe it in as deeply as I can, hoping it will last. It always reminds me how fortunate I am to be in this incredible part of the world. Trees are an obvious passion of mine, so starting this series seemed like the most natural thing in the world. But in these pieces I am really pushing the contrast of soft organic images paired with very strong, bright, geometric elements. This pairing really conveys the intersection of deeply rooted wilderness and vibrant urban activity that makes Stanley Park so unique.

You have said, ‘Genuine pursuit of beauty that drives me forward and compels me to create’. Explain. I really want to create beautiful experiences for people. When I come across a work of art that speaks to me, my chest tightens, the world stops, and I feel an acute awareness of that particular moment in time. I know that sounds cheesy but its true! I have felt this so many times, brought on by anything from a giant Rothko in a museum, to simple things, like watching thin layers of paint seep through a paper towel. Each time I experience this it leaves me with a renewed vigor to create similar experiences for other people. Art can have so many different agendas…a lot of art these days is overly conceptual, interested more in commentary and shock value than aesthetics or beauty. Its fine…important even, to have concepts and agendas that drive artwork, but I want my art to always be grounded in beauty. I try to draw people in, and allow them to experience my work in a way that is meaningful to them, without necessarily forcing any particular idea or experience onto them.

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