Talented sculptress and painter, the ex-wife of Pink Floyd guitarist talks about her relationship with the aesthetics of the spirit
by Davide Iannuzzi
For many people Ginger Gilmour was above all the first wife of the Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour, but actually Ginger has continued to write pages of her history beyond that sentimental bond dissolved in 1990, that gave her four beloved children. Between mysticism and lightness she has matured over time an artistic language that celebrates Beauty as one of the main virtues of the spirit, both in sculptural and figurative form. Student of the painter Cecil Collins, Ginger has produced very personal artworks, filtered by a metaphysical and contemplative gaze that has angels as subject, outlined by a moderate anamorphism that brings the gaze upwards to induce to find the divine element in any form of earthly experience. Ginger has exhibited her works in many prestigious galleries such as the Mall Galleries and the German Embassy both in London and Arundel Castel in the county of West Sussex. She has created works for the Hampton Court Flower Show, the largest floral exhibition in the world and has created a sculpture inspired by the Olympic Games which has been permanently placed from 2009 to 2012 at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport. An exclusive meeting, the one between Ginger Gilmour and Mediafrequenza, an experience of a journey through time, beyond time.
While everyone around the world is forced to stay at home because of the COVID-19, we have a great opportunity to be “infected” by the arts at our very homes, admiring online the beauty of the sculptures of Ginger Gilmour. Can you tell us where and how come to life the harmony of your artworks, being inspired by your spiritual dimension?
This is a great question which I will answer with a story of my journey to discover the importance of Beauty and Culture especially when a individual is in crisis or globally, as in the current challenge COVID-19.….personally, it has saved me many times.
Ever since I can remember I have been an artist. Some say that I was borne with the ‘soul of the artist’ but it wasn’t until later in life that I consciously can say it is true. It came naturally to create little things with the flowers or to dream of the birds singing as I stood upon a stonewall overlooking the Mystic River pretending to fly. We moved quite often as my mother re-married to a wonderful man who was in the Coast Guard which took us coast to coast. I painted rooms in every house with Japanese inspired flowers for my mother. I helped with the creation of the themes and installations for the proms. My imagination was limitless but so was my intelligence. Often the art classes were at the back of the school and placed emphasis on the three ‘R’s which I equally loved. I danced to the Fred Astair movies while I vacuumed. I lived in suburban American homes out of ‘Pleasantville’ and dreamt of the time I would be discovered in a soda fountain by a film director. I dreamt of working for Disney as a cartoonist….the dreams were many.
I spent many hours within my inner world-creating & transforming the images, which came to me. Some called me a ‘dreamer’; later, some called me a ‘visionary’. As time progressed, I came to realize that it was important to become the conductor of my imagination. A vision was developing which through my creativity would enable me to discover, to reveal and then to live my true nature. From that moment on each painting, each sculpture, each conversation, even the dishes gave me an opportunity to live the natural born gift given to us all…..
’The Beauty of ‘Being’ on Earth.
My life up until the early nineties had given me the opportunity to live amongst Beauty-as my marriage to David Gilmour of Pink Floyd gave me the opportunity to witness creativity of such wonderful music….but life brought changes….we divorced….and after many years, I awakened….I discovered that I was the ‘soul of the artist’!…I saw that it was my quest to Create Beauty-to BE Beauty!
Is the current lockdown an enemy of Beauty?
To now be placed in lock-down we are given a opportunity to BE with ourselves. The imagination, beauty, creativity is the bridge that unites our hearts. It brings harmony and understanding if we open the doorway. It is always there. What is so remarkable about COVID-19 is that within the fear, the panic, we are caring for each other. We sing and clap from our balconies! The animals are coming down from the mountains and the sky is blue again.
We are now in a situation to contemplate what is the purpose of Life. We are within our silent retreat of return simplyfing our lives. Each day we awaken to the Beauty that surrounds us and touch what is great about being human. The ‘Art of Living’ has returned!
Where is the meeting point of the art and the faith?
The ESSENTIAL THESIS of art is the sacred. The artist’s vocation and true value are those of service to the spiritual and therefore ‘truly functional’ needs of Humanity ie their heart, their soul!
For me, the vocation of the artist is to create vision and the purpose of vision is to awaken man’s real self, for in Art there is a hidden, inviolate instinct for freedom, for eternity and for Beauty……… For this to happen the artist will need to be concerned with something beyond his art….which is found in the spiritual space of the human imagination in which the truth of the Eternal person resides…… it is in the relationship of the invisible and the visible.
For many, Faith opens the same doorway to the Eternal and the sacred which is latent in our hearts for God has planted spark of the Divine Within us all. As they say, many roads lead to the same place. What is important is to touch that aspect of Life where Love, Peace, Kindness, Goodness resides.
How do you think humanity perceives this concept today?
Currently, Mankind has forgotten this reality of Life. Our images and thoughts have taken us into the superficial and we have lost the connection.
I feel strongly that We must dare to return to wholeness, to the God within. Both Art and Faith can aid in that journey but only if it is from the creative imagination with the intent to uplift, nurture and restore our soul reality.
Often your sculptures are based on the theme of angels. Does that attraction have some particular reasons? If so, what’s that?
I studied with the English Artist, Cecil Collins for eight years. It was with him that I was encouraged not to forget my Angels. His artwork and ethos was based around the Fool and the Angel. The Fool represented Clear Perception and the Angel was the purity of heart within all of creation. This inspired me. It touched something deep within my heart. At first I created artwork that was based on a wish to touch the Angels. As years passed it has become a reality. They are always with me…touching me with their Love. For this reason, I want to create artwork that allows others to know their Love. For I firmly believe that we are all angels waiting to fly!
You were an actress and a model as well. When did you understand, that now it’s a turning point in your creative career and that you are going to change your direction?
As I mentioned earlier, as I entered my adulthood my quest led me into the world of Pink Floyd, the rock band. Their music touched my very being and further inspired my dream-the quest for Beauty and that one can live it! During this time my life expanded to include the development of my own innate artistic qualities. I studied for eight years with the English Visionary Artist, Cecil Collins. He inspired me to touch the essence of life and then allow one’s own uniqueness to create the form or drawing that would capture its treasured quality.
I painted long hours with a wish for this to become. I was drawn to create forms that would capture a growing love of the many dimensions of our being and the world. I was discovering: to manifest Beauty one had to acknowledge the aspects of the visible and invisible aspects of life……but on the journey questions appeared?…..How does one do that? Cecil said ‘ the invisible is captured between the paint and the glazes’; Rudolf Steiner says, ‘it is caught between the line, the curve and the empty space’; other spiritual masters say ‘ it is caught within the Silence that Sounds’….I feel ultimately it is YOU! It is ME! It is our Vision! Our point of identification shapes our life. And thus my vision has become ME! And what is borne seeks to inspire the Beauty of You.
For many years you were married with David Gilmour, a legendary guitarist of the Pink Floyd. Was there anything in his music that inspired your artworks and on the other hand could your masterpieces influence him while he was writing a music?
I see my life as being a journey with many stages. Each coming closer to the vision that has always touched my heart….the quest for Beauty. Memories of what came before fills me with appreciation…for they have been the building blocks of what I live Now! And I say ‘Thank You’ to all of them.
As I look back upon this phase of my life I most remember ‘Magical Concerts’ and moments of the sound of David’s guitar drifting through the air as oppose to albums. Having said that I most often still listen to Meddle (Echoes), Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb. One of the most memorable concerts was in Cinncinnati. As the sun set into the colours of pink, lavender and deep blue from far behind the stage and above the large Marlboro and Winston Billboards our tour airplane with lights flashing came towards us! The sound of it as it flew low over the unsuspecting audience created such a burst of emotion of release that we were all taken within a bubble of great stillness and calm. As the soft notes of ‘Sheep’ began individual puffs of smoke filled the air deepening the colours of the approaching night. As the mist drifted across the air large parachute shapes of sheep descended floating into the audience.
What is a vital aspect of the popularity of the Pink Floyd music?
For me, the concert in Cinncinnati was just one moment of many which the Floyd have created for us all to share. It is said that when Beauty marries with Stillness and all become One in our unique difference, true Magic appears. In this instance it appeared through the Art of Creativity within those concerts and our lives. I feel honored to have been a participant to the Magic of Pink Floyd. Needless to say, we did have many challenges within the ‘Rock-n-Roll’ life but the Beauty always won out. I feel this is very important to emphasis when telling the story-for it is a microcosmic part of the bigger story of us all. Dr Werner Engel, President of the Jungian Society in New York, came to one of the concerts. His comment to me was, “Ginger, I do not know whether you would agree with me but what we seek through meditation, your husband’s music achieves through transforming chaos into harmony through Beauty. This now I understand as the basic key to Harmony in a world of Chaos. I do not know whether the Floyd would agree but I do know that it happened that way for many. This is what their music offers in my opinion and is why it speaks to so many over so many years. Their music carries a archetypal message of transcendence.
If you were to associate one of your artworks with some Pink Floyd’s album, what those 2 would be and why?
Throughout the last forty years I have been graced to have met many great philosophers and teachers who have opened the doorways to my own conscious creativity. My time within the Pink Floyd gave me many moments of how creativity can induce the experience of unity and beauty amongst many. It touched the very nature of my soul which probably allowed me to survive sometimes in very harsh conditions. Now through my teachers I have been inspired to ‘Become and create Beauty’ through my own innate talent as an artist. I was never without a creative energy for it was expressed through the care of my children and home but it was my destiny to awaken-to be more than I WAS. Thus, I have come to realize that we are all creators of our stories and another chapter is just beginning for me through the ‘Art of Creating Beauty’.
And this vision is what my artwork reflects similar to the place the Floyds music takes their audience. We are ONE in the Beauty of Being Human on Earth.
You’re an author of two books, “Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon” and “The Art of Relations”. In the first one you are describing yourself in a Pink Floyd world, in the second one you reveal us yourself as a sculptor and artist. Is there any connection between them?
Each shares different stages of my Life’s journey. As an artist there are many forms I create which endeavour to touch and reveal my spirituality and quest. Each seeks to come closer and closer to being a reflection of the work of the soul in this human personality in whatever way it radiates, manifests & unites others. They are not only my catharsis but equally for Humanity awakening to their true-self.
You are a mother of four children. Can you tell us about your relationships with Sara, Alice and Clare, and with Matthew, that follows the steps of his father as a guitarist and singer?
Our children were raised in a very unique and creative environment. They lived amongst many musicians, philosophers, artists and travelled to many places witnessing many cultures. Most of all we sought to inspire their own creative development ‘Who they were borne to BE’. Alice is a creative illustrator and sings. Clare is a carer for the elderly and is a mother of our grand-daughter. Sara is a fashion editor and stylist and equally mother of our grand-son. Matthew is the one who has taken on the torch of being a musician: plays lead guitar, sings, composes. He has a new album out called Collages. Have a listen it is special.
What will be your next exposition where we could admire your masterpieces?
Currently, due to the lock down in the UK many things are on hold. I have just finished a move to a new home which serves as a gallery, studio, classroom and private home. There are many thoughts in the wind to decide how best for it to serve as a Sanctuary of the Spirit. My team and I are also reaching out to find galleries who would like to exhibit my work and give talks about the ‘Art of Beauty.’
In closing, my quest is to create artwork and atmospheres which ignite the Wonder of the Child through Beauty so that our eyes can see the miracle of the sparkle in a raindrop once again.
I find that when the imagery and the story unite as one in Harmony and Beauty, the room is filled with a feeling of the Sacredness & Oneness of Life. Some have commented that the Gallery had become a place where God visits with his Angels and we touch who we truly are…Beautiful!
For in Beauty we are United!
Special thanks: Daniela Norando – Timur Zasèev