In Hilde Gustava’s work, symbolic figures are given a powerful physical presence while holding on to their essential mystery. Two symbols crop up most frequently in her paintings: pi and the symbol for infinity. Both exist as gateways to endless experiments and investigations, and that spirit of exploration is evident in Gustava’s images. She employs intense colors as well as a striking variety of textures, and she exhibits a firm belief in the power of strong lines and basic geometric forms. As a result, her paintings turn a world of ideas into dynamic environments with an unusually tactile quality.
Part of that comes from the technique Gustava uses to create her paintings. She often begins by sculpting the surface of the canvas with such materials as sand, bird seed, and cement. The acrylic paints she uses, mixing drips and swirls with energetic brush strokes, increase that sense of vitality. As opposed to the darkness and minimalism that she says are often expected of Norwegian painters, she conjures up a world that is bright and engaging, but also has subtlety and depth.