B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia.
Exhibited paintings and mix-media work in various galleries and art venues in Vancouver, Canada.
Established an art and antique gallery Maison V [now defunct] in Vancouver, exhibiting the works of contemporary Canadian and European artists, artisans and designers.
Conducted art and antique buying tours in France.
Published a collection of photo essays and poetics based on my travel adventures on my various blogs and in books.
2007:: Completed a series of paintings "Vespertine Views", inspired by travels in France [exhibited at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum in Vancouver].
2008:: Series of paintings "Architectural Bondage" in progress.
All images and paintings on this site are copyrighted 2008-2016 GINA VERSTER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
2008Vespertine Views Solo exhibition at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, Vancouver [a cross-cultural presentation by Alliance Française Vancouver and the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver]
[To view images from this series, please check in ZYGOSPHERE:: www.zy-xin.blogspot.comunder the painting designation]
on this series:: architectural bondage
The earlier paintings feature buildings from the modernist era, some in France and some in S.E. Asia, where my father had designed many in a small town on the northern coast of the island of Borneo in the 1960's-70's. The portrayals combine my appreciation for the modern movement in architecture in Europe with its obvious influence on the work of a far removed architect practicing on an isolated island in the South China Sea. I grew up in my father's architectural studio and in the house of his design. It was all I ever knew of a certain profession and all I believed that I would become - an architect. Eventually distracted by paint, the unrealized architect in me still prefers to render structural entities. This is my bondage to the art of architecture and in essence, it is also my homage to my father's modest creative and professional legacy. The series has been progressing in alternate depictions from the two main sources [I work mostly from my own photographs], thereby also alternating a temperate palette with a tropical one. My natural inclination is to paint in moodier colours well-suited for the french sub-set, but it is also a refreshing change to work in the brighter hues of the world I had spent my childhood in. These edifices began to float on the blue ground, as ethereal as they had become in my memory, and always the image of my father the architect hovers over me while I paint.
The more recent paintings reflect my continuing interest in the house/structure as a distilled manifesto of a particular architect, designer or artist. I am painting more intuitively - drawn as it were to designs that appeal to me on a psycho-potent level, beyond the mere architectural significance of the subjects. The canvases are smaller - quicker studies - and may convey various versions of the same house.
"L'architecture, c'est le jeu - savant, correct et magnifique - des formes sous la lumière" Le Corbusier "Nostalgia is the poetic awareness of our personal past, and since the artist's own past is the mainspring of his creative potential, the architect must listen and heed his nostalgic revelations..."
"I'm sick of attending to clients and talking about their tastes. [...] from now on, I will work for one single client: myself." Luis Barragàn
"Many things are built in the world at large: aircrafts, cars, machine tools, works of art, and much more. ... The individual or collective dwelling and the public buildings are objects constructed on a par with things such as these." Jean Prouvé
"Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are, for better or for worse, different people in different places - and on the conviction that it is architecture's task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be." [page 13]
"If our interest in buildings and objects is indeed determined as much by what they say to us as by how they perform their material functions, it is worth elaborating on the curious process by which arrangements of stone, steel, concrete, wood and glass seem able to express themselves - and can on rare occasions leave us under the impression that they are talking to us about significant and touching things." [page 78]
"We depend on our surroundings obliquely to embody the moods and ideas we respect and then to remind us of them. We look to our buildings to hold us, like a kind of psychological mould, to a helpful vision of ourselves. We arrange around us material forms which communicate to us what we need - but are at constant risk of forgetting we need - within... To speak of home in relation to a building is simply to recognize its harmony with our own prized internal song." [page 107] Alain de Botton, 'The Architecture of Happiness'
"Elephants are the architects of the jungle." David Suzuki, 'The Nature of Things'
"Modernism is the expression by individual human beings of how they will live their own present, and consequently there are a thousand modernisms for every thousand persons." Octavio Paz, Nobel Prize reception speech
"A serious house on serious earth it is, In whose blent air all our compulsions meet, Are recognized, and robed as destinies. And that much never can be obsolete, Since someone will forever be surprising A hunger in himself to be more serious, And gravitating with it to this ground, Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in, If only that so many dead lie around." Philip Larkin, last verse of "Church Going", 1955
"Mute, in darkness, the Chimera seems to have retreated Into the ancestral night of primal Chaos; But neither gods, nor men, nor their creations Are ever nullified once they've been; they must exist Until the bitter end, disappearing into the dust. Immobile, sad, the noseless Chimera can smell The freshness of dawn, dawn of another day When death will not have pity on it, But its desolate existence will continue." Luis Cernuda, last verse of "Desolation of the Chimera"
"Casa Malaparte has a certain quality. It gives you a distance, a point of reference. The wild world is confronted with a spot of blood. The cliff becomes higher, the sea becomes more blue." Ettore Sottsass, 'Malaparte: A House Like Me'