Painting – Drawing
Borne in Austria, Gernot came to Canada in 1961, initially for a one-year photography assignment in a photo studio in Ontario. Gernot is a professional photographer, painter, sculptor and educator in the visual arts and design.
During the 1960’s to the 1980’s he exhibited in private and public galleries, taught painting, lectured in Colleges and Universities in Canada and Australia and taught art and design at Sheridan College, Toronto, Ontario for 25 years. Gernot has won many awards; his work is in many corporate and private collections in North America and Australia.
The power and beauty of the northern BC Coast Mountains reminded him of his homeland in Austria and inspired him to move from Toronto to Atlin. In 1980 he founded/designed and built the Atlin Art Centre and was the guiding spirit for 28 years. His art courses brought over 1000 participants from around the world to Atlin. In 2010 he ended the art programs to return to his own work in painting/drawing and photography.
But these credentials do not account fully for Gernot's inspirational impact on students and colleagues. More than an artist and teacher, Gernot is an adventurer. His experiences include high altitude mountain climbing, marathon running, white-water canoeing and competitive skiing. He uses these activities as metaphors to explore interior landscapes with the same passion and integrity that characterize his physical pursuits.
Gernot has explored alpine wilderness extensively for over 60 years, as his passion is also wilderness exploration, he offered alpine guiding and boat charters in northern British Columbia. He is strongly motivated to act upon these activities; “passion means action, otherwise it becomes hypocrisy”. It is obvious in his work, that the human relationship to the earth and to each other is a deep concern. The land – the mountains are his spiritual mentors. For years he dreamed about to live in the Whistler area and moved in 2014 to Mount Currie.
Gernot’s unique experiences and outlook provide much of the content in his work and in his teaching philosophy where he combines unique storytelling with humour, respect for human capacities, compassion for human fallibilities, and a talent for finding and sharing philosophical and aesthetic insights in everyday experiences.
It is not the visual landscape that holds Gernot’s interest; the sole lies, like in all things, within the spirit of the mountain that speaks to him. His work awakens awareness of where we are in our search to live more connected with the universal truth. Gernot says: “The land as the universe is the holder of the ultimate truth, the truth we cannot manipulate, we must respect it and strive to live by it”. The concept in his art, beginning with the “Rope Drawings”, is built around the relationship, or the lack of relationship, we have as a global society with the universal truth. The universe may well lie within us, and our spirit may well be the pathway to that universe, and beyond”.