Discipline: Visual Art – installation

Gisela Insuaste

Discipline: Visual Art – installation
Region: Oakland, CA
MacDowell fellowships: 2005, 2006, 2011

In my practice, I explore the intersection of architecture, memory, topography, and myth through drawings, sculptures, and site-specific installations. Using scale, line, texture, and color, I create collapsible and fragmented spaces and structures composed of interdependent or abstract elements that give way to physical and emotional connections to a place. Inspired by the concept of the apus (Quechua word to describe the protective spirits of the sacred Andean mountains), I map the idiosyncrasies of the urban landscape to reflect the precarious and dynamic relationship of the built and natural environment, both real and imagined. Using modular, portable, or interactive forms made of found and repurposed materials such as wood, wire, fabric, and vacuum cleaner parts, I introduce architectural interventions that question our individual and shared cultural space and identity. Whether it's a bike ride or leisurely walk along a river or a plane ride across the ocean, I am drawn to the inherent and varied narratives of people, places and things we encounter directly or at the periphery. These experiences inform my practice where a shift in location, emotion, and activity, give rise to new ways of looking and interpreting the world.



Gisela Insuaste worked in the Firth studio.

Originally a working barn perched atop the namesake hill of Hillcrest Farm, this building was converted to serve the arts in 1956. A grand set of windows was installed to make the large interior suitable for visual artists, bringing in abundant natural light from the north. The addition of a screened porch and accessible entrance ramp…

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