The Human Body: Diversity in Unity

Are we more than the bodies we exist within? How do our bodies impact the experiences we have and what kinds of tolls do our experiences have on our bodies? As humans, we are bound by physicality—but, are we? Makeup, plastic surgery, donor transplants, gender reassignment surgeries, etc. have already altered our relationship with our physical bodies—but what about AI and its future impact on the body? Will we be able to transcend beyond our corporeal limitations one day? There is ethereal light shining for those with eyes to see our corporeal reality.

Kingdom Within

Mixed media collage. 22 x 17. 2014 | Credits:
Fiber Fusion, Schack Art Center, Everett, WA March – April 2017.
Fiber Fusion Juried Exhibition, VALA Art Center. Redmond Town Center, November — January 2016.
Hurst Gallery, Northwest University, Kirkland, July — September 2016.
Cover of Thought Magazine, June 2016, a literary and art journal.
Moat Gallery, Mental Health show, Vancouver, BC Canada, May 2015.
Northwest Collage Society 2014 Innovation Award for summer exhibition.
Appeared in Mind Magazine: Science, Verse, Art and Psychology winter 2014.
Unmarked Crosswalks show, Argue Gallery, Kirkland, WA September 2014.

While contemplating the moon, this figure, based on an ancient Greek hero statue, finds solace, resilience and inner strength in the midst of a bleak and perplexing environment.

Invisible Men

Collage, watercolor, house and spray paint. 23.5 x 18. 2016. | Credits:
Merit award Northwest Collage Society Fall Exhibition, Mercer Island Community Center, 2018.
Confluence Gallery, Twisp WA, April 21 — May 18, 2018.Hurst Gallery, Kirkland, June 14 — August 22, 2018

This trio of figures are based on classical Greek Kouros statues. Each persona features its own collaged skin, one with bits of English newsprint, another with dripped house paint that suggests a skeleton and a third with lines of Classical Chinese poetry. The figures are elongated to evoke an airy, dream-like state. They stand in a field of erratic pencil marks that allude to sketches by Henry Moore, the mid-century sculptor who reduced the human form to abstract essences.

Man Disguised As Spirit

12 x 12 x 3. 2015. | Credits:
Bellevue Arts Museum, Northwest Collage Society Winter Show, 2015.
Fiber Fusion show VALA Redmond Town Center, 2016.Fiber Fusion Schack Art Center Everett 2017. Confluence Gallery, The Hidden Show, Twisp WA 2018.

This figure is based on the classical Greek Kouros statue of a hero and is covered with Japanese paper embedded with tiny leaves. The title refers to the initiation rite of a South American Indigenous tribe in which elders dress up as spirits by covering their bodies with paint, leaves, and fibrous hats.

Something In The Way

Mixed media collage on canvas. 24 x 18. 2018. | Featured as a pairing with a poem in Envision Arts Magazine, April 2019. Northwest Collage Society Winter Exhibit at Washington State Convention Center. January 12 to March 30, 2019.

These figures are based on ancient Greek statues, each covered with collage material to differentiate the individual from the group. One made of Fred Myers ads, another with Japanese anime and a third with newsprint. Diversity in unity. The three figures stand fearless in an intense indigo scene suggesting the transition to dawn or twilight.

TSA Fantasies

Collage. 11.5 x 8.5. 2017.

This ironic figure is based on an image of a woman being scanned during early airport x-ray screening. Her arms are spread to her sides to permit the radiation full access to her body. Inside her body is a basketball player and basketballs surround her. The figure resides inside another x-ray scan of a human torso. The title is a comment on our acceptance of invasive technology. The TSA agents look on this person’s body as they might watch an athletic game.

Come Now Fair and Tender Ladies

Mixed media Collage. 20 x 15. 2015.

These figures are based on mid-century statues from the Bay Area Art Movement. The discordant colors of the central figure contrasts with her companions who take a classic pose. The shadowy outlines of the figures tie the composition together, calling into question if our shadows are more real than our physical bodies. The title is taken from the folk song warning young women of sexual exploitation by men.

The Way You Look Tonight

Mixed media collage on canvas. 22 x 17. 2017. | Credits:
Northwest Collage Society Summer Exhibition at the Seattle City Hall 2017.
21 Century Women Show, Kirkland Art Center, June 20 — Oct. 16, 2019.

This collage is an abstract expressionist interpretation of the classical three graces. The women dance in a field embedded with the lyrics of the Frank Sinatra love song.

Set Fire To The Rain

Collage. 37 x 24. 2017. Hurst Gallery, Kirkland, WA. March 30, 2018.

This body of this figure is filled with corporate logos, making a comment on how commercialism affects identity. His arms are stretched across a field made of spray plaster with a sunburst (or nuclear explosion?) above and seeming rain falling all around. The title is taken from a pop rock music song.

Kyrie Eleison

Mixed media spray paint. 24 x 18. 2016

This figure assumes the pose as a crucified man and, at the same time, a swimmer jumping from a diving board. The personage is plunging into death or water — perhaps to resurface and be reborn.


Collage. 23 x 17. 2019.

This cubist figure is based on mid-century designs (similar to designs by Afro Basaldella and Arshlie Gorky) and is made of collaged tissue and newspapers. His kaleidoscopic eye is a dollar sign. The viewer wonders if the text in his body have a deeper meaning.

Gary (GJ) Gillespie. The cultural and natural world of the American northwest inspires my art. Living near Seattle and Redmond, Washington State exposes me to the creative trends of the world’s most innovative minds. My art is a response to this rich social and spiritual environment.

The abstract expressionist masters who produced haunting images from this region are constant inspirations. Northwest artists Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, Emily Carr and Paul Horiuchi are favorites. I am influenced by Hans Hoffman and Ashile Gorky.

My figurative work draws from surrealism, indigenous art, ancient Greece, cave paintings as well as art history.

The artists I admire tap unconscious feelings of longing for existential meaning that emerge from cultural icons. In my view, abstraction should be more than pleasing design. Instead, art should evoke connotations that permit the viewer to experience a sense of wonder, awe and new perspectives of being.

In addition to art making I also market a private label sketchbook on Amazon through my company Leda Arts.

Check out his blog.

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