Born in South Africa in 1957, Gail Altschuler says of her art; “My inspiration comes from diverse sources: nature and landscape, fabrics from Africa and Asia, jazz music and ceramic tiles. The colours of South Africa, where I grew up, and the Bauhaus principled Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam where I studied, remain strong and lasting influences on my work. I am interested in exploring the emotive power of colour and pattern. The colours that I use are woven together to create moods and atmospheres that relate to my experiences of living in Africa, Europe, the USA and the United Kingdom.
I used the theme of the ‘Weave’ and the ‘Grid’ for a number of years, as a symbol that allows me to combine order and chance, the random with harmony and integration. After a six month period in spent in a log cabin on the hills of Los Gatos in California in 2001, I concentrated my themes on trees, leaves and nature. I integrate these into repeat patterns based on a grid. This emphasises the particular shape of the tree trunks in silhouette and the leaf outlines creating a rich and textured ground.
Since the birth of my daughters in 2004 my work has continued to explore more concrete forms combining abstraction with recognisable images. My paintings on canvas and prints on paper are abstract but refer to the landscape. ‘Domestic Fiction’ was inspired by my art students’ line drawings of a jug still life. It implies various relationships, in terms of where and how the jugs are placed. The floral elements are derived from Japanese paintings of chrysanthemums.”