Artist Statement

Heather Gentleman is a figurative painter whose work is narrative in nature, inspired by literature, mythology, symbolism and psychology. She approaches narrative through painting, drawing and sculpture as well as video, writing, interactive installation, audio and performance. The layering of meaning in a story is enhanced by the layering of media and approach to its telling, hence, she applies catachrestic symbolism to create a puzzle that engages the viewer to enquire. The dictionary definition of catachreses is the misuse of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.

Her work has been informed by my deep engagement with literature and writings concerning analytical and social psychology, feminist theory, anthropology, and political commentary. Writers such as Carl Jung, Marie-Louise Von Franz, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Susan Faludi, Naomi Klein, Rianne Eisler and more recently, Chris Hedges and Malcolm Gladwell have helped inform her critical thinking and theoretical approach to my work, along with poets and authors including Pablo Neruda, ee Cummings, Hilda Doolittle, James Joyce and Omar Khayyam.