Heikedine Günther is an abstract, intercultural painter based in Basel, Switzerland. Her art practice is focused on The Core which references the inner self and a potential to grow from a place of inner strength. Beyond that the core is a lot more and she tries to research different ways the core manifests itself in cultures and religions. Through her travels she explores and
looks at ancient art from different cultures. She is fascinated by the ways different cultures and religions used the motif of the core within their tradition.
Günther's paintings come from drawings and studies she makes to find the forms of the cores. The inspiration can range from mandalas, galaxy images, depictions on illuminated medieval manuscripts, menhirs or works of masters like Fontana. Often one specific form of a core finds its way into several paintings. When making the actual painting, the process is very similar each time. She starts with a gold primer and begins adding up to ten layers of oil paint. These processes often take several months and she always work on many paintings at the same time. After each layer of paint she takes a monotype print of the surface of the painting. These monotypes are individual artworks but also show the history of the painting they were taken from. Overall the core can be found in many places and each process for finding a new painting
"The core is the longing for the essential. It is between microcosm and macrocosm. We can find it in nature when looking at seeds or spores. I am inspired by nature, science and art. Everything longs to grow and life goes in cycles from birth to rebirth. That is why I paint with a horizontal canvas and a very wide brush. The brushwork comes from movements of my whole body; thereby I am creating something that wants to grow into the world."
"The core is the longing for the essential"
Günther met Joseph Beuysmet during his project “7000 Eichen” in Kassel in 1982. She was 16 years old at the time and was able to participate because her grandfather owned the quarry where the basalt rocks came from. Beuys used these rocks for the gigantic project and needed many helpers to make this once in a lifetime artwork happen.
"I was shocked when I first met Joseph Beuys. He immediately destroyed my idea what art is with his views and concepts. His presence really changed the way I perceived art and what possibilities lay within it."
Günther was also a student of Werner Büttner and Martin Kippenberger and painted figuratively.
This is where she started from. But in 2004 she did an active imagination after C.G. Jung towards her inner self. There she discovered the core and felt its presence for the first time. "The therapist asked me to paint this core and so I made my first core painting. "
Being based in Basel Günther takes part in its world-class art scene. Besides the major art fair there are many great institutions and museums. The Fondation Beyerler for example is a wonderful space with an amazing program. "The art scene in Basel is still growing. This is also because there are many good collectors here. Of course Basel is not like London or New York but I need to be close to nature to work on my art and so Basel is perfect because it is easy for me to get to my studio in the mountains." This year Günther will exhibit at M54 and will open a solo exhibition during the 2020 international Art Basel fair.