“Overall, I am a maker and whatever the medium, I want my work to be open-ended enough for viewers to insert their own story while still exuding a sense of the otherworldly,” says artist Bre Gipson, whose mediums include watercolor, collage, sculpture, and digital art, among others.
The Oakland-based artist is spending this summer—and the next two—in Portland to participate in Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Low-Residency MFA in Visual Studies program. Back home, she’s a member of an all-female artist collective whose work, Till Death Do Us Part, is currently on exhibit at Solespace Gallery and Somar Art Bar in Oakland.
In Portland, her art continues to progress and advance. “My work is constantly evolving and I continuously experiment with new materials and mediums,” notes Gipson. “Currently, I am working on animating my collages and creating larger site-specific paintings and installations.”
While the artist does not work in just one primary medium, or give a preference to one over another, Gipson does note that her approach to her art and how she produces it is a collage in its most basic sense. “Whether it’s layered paper imagery, or my line work over paint, or more tactile in my sculptures and installations through accumulation and manipulation of materials—it is all (a) kind of collage.” Indeed, all of Gipson’s different art forms, from the sculptures to the watercolor paintings, are meticulously layered compositions. Each medium presents different opportunities for expression, sometimes within the same piece. “I really enjoy watercolor’s fluidity and paper collage’s ability to be abstract yet still contain recognizable images.”
Gipson’s watercolor pieces in particular, primarily inspired by natural elements and cosmic landscapes, are colorful, vibrant works that radiate both a celestial luminosity and otherworldly grandeur. Most recently, her shadow sculpture Portal to a Parallel was included in July and August’s Quantum Shirley exhibit at the Feldman Gallery in Northwest Portland. Her work is also available online.