Angela Gmeinweser is a fourth-year BFA student at UBC Okanagan. Her main mediums include painting, installation sculpture and audio. She hails from Vernon, BC but has spent time at the University of Ottawa, the Alberta University of the Arts and in Toulouse, France.
Gmeinweser’s artistic career started off at an early age. Her first inspirations came from her mother: “My mom is an artist and when I started, I was trying to make stuff that she was doing. She painted pots and that kind of thing. I’d watch her paint and then try it out with her materials. When I was 13, she bought me some real oil paints, so that’s how I got started. My practice has evolved quite a bit since then.”
Spending time in France was a formative experience and influenced Gmeinweser’s work: “Last year I did a Go Global exchange in Toulouse, France. In my two years at UBC before that, I had started making bigger sculptures and installations. But in Toulouse, they had almost no studio space and you had to work at home. I ended up doing more audio/video work as a way of trying to take up space conceptually but not physically. It forced me to look at my practice in a different way.”
Gmeinweser describes her work as interdisciplinary, with her painting influencing her installation sculptures and vice versa. Additionally, her works are often presented with some kind of audio component: “I’ll build something that people can interact with. There will be an audio component within the work. In my last installation, it was a recording of my friend singing. I see it as a way of completing the space without drawing it out. I think that the quality of audio helps us understand where we are without having to see anything.”
Gmeinweser’s work mainly revolves around relationships within spaces: “the main idea that ties all my work together is the relationship between figures and spaces. In Toulouse, I looked at people and how they’re making sense of the architectural space around them, and how they’re assigning it a story that’s always changing. I think that kind of curiosity comes up a lot in my paintings. I often like to put figures into architectural spaces. And then the work is about the relationship between the figure and the space. In my sculptures, the viewer’s body takes the place of an actual representation of the figure. Which is why I like to make interactive work.”
Her influences include Janet Cardiff, Alexandre David and Susan Philipsz. Gmeinweser plans to move to Montreal after graduation to pursue an MFA. More of her work can be found on her Instagram and Facebook.