March 17 - 23, 2013: Issue 102
Meeting Gemma Rasdall is coming into contact with a human lightening bolt. A young and evolving artist, this young lady already has a clear vision for her works that points back to a lifetime of sailing and refining how this and living on the estuary has played so large a part in her life as represented through her works. Gemma’s energy, enthusiasm and ‘seize the day’ attitude is a blast of pure fresh air. This 20 year old dynamo, a part of a family that has and continues to contribute so much to Pittwater quietly, letting their work and its results speak for itself, and to whom she attributes so much of her own creative deftness, is also a really lovely girl. Bright eyed, smiling, already selling numerous works to those who appreciate her art, this week we share a small insight into one of our upcoming artists.
How old were you when you did your first art work and what did you do?
About 2 or 3 from memory, mum had us drawing from the get go. Growing up in my family had a huge focus on art; I suppose that comes with the territory of having an artist for a mother. I think the first picture I ever drew was of my dad, every year my sisters and I used to hand draw his birthday cards.
Who were your main influences on your earlier art works?
The shaping my artistic practice began when I was in High School for my Visual Art Major Work. I responded to artists who experimented with colour and unusual painterly styles such as Kerrie Lester, John Firth-Smith and Peter Kingston.
What was the subject matter of this major work?
My subject matter was a no-brainer; I remember mum telling me to choose to focus on something I was most passionate about and if I made the right decision, this passion would be reflected in my work. So for me, as a Pittwater based sailor, boats were an obvious choice. That body of work (entitled “Drift”) led into my first collaborative exhibition and after receiving a positive feedback I decided that I had found my niche, and have stuck with boats ever since.
You have always been around the water, you’ve grown up on boats. Is that the main focus for your work?
Yes. I’ve grown up on and around boats my whole life and in turn developed a love for sailing. I started off learning to sail at Avalon Sailing Club when I was 7 years old, sailing for leisure and then later on at a competitive level in a range of different classes of boats. At 17 I moved clubs to RPA (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club) to become part of the Youth Development Match Racing Squad. That was so much fun and I loved it because it was so team focused compared to the dinghy racing where you only have one or two people in your boat. In Match Racing every member of the team has specific roles and working together with a strong focus on communication is essential, I love how its not only physically demanding, but mentally as well. Unfortunately I am no longer sailing on a regular basis at the moment as I have so much going on but sailing is always going to be a part of my life so I know I’ll back to it eventually.
The ‘Sailors Sense’, your current body of work; what is that about?
If you could be another creature for a day, furred, feathered or finned, what would you be?
Gemma's works are on display and for sale at the Quarterdeck Brasseries, RMYC - Broken Bay, will be exhibiting in the 9th Annual Marine Art Exhibition at the Royal Motor Yacht Club - Broken Bay, June 6-16th, 2013 or can be contacted as listed below:
Copyright Gemma Rasdall, 2013. All Rights Reserved.
Taylor's Point Wharf, 2013. Picture by A J Guesdon.
Avalon Sailing Club, 2013. Picture by A J Guesdon.