My work strives to bridge the gap between the immaterial and material world to manifest a sense of the ethereal while being grounded in the familiar and scientific. An exploration of biological systems and their 'hidden' structures as seen through a microscope is reflected in my work. Inspired by my personal experience with cancer, a scientific perspective of nature's complexity and informed by a Christ centered understanding of reality, I am interested in visually exploring the most basic of human intuitions - that life in all its biological forms, has been thoughtfully and purposefully designed.
Created with everyday, found and discarded objects, my artwork seeks to challenge notions of purpose and value. I delight in repurposing and presenting castoff materials together in new ways and groupings, transforming formerly mundane, insignificant objects into complex, layered and cohesive structures.
Through the use of botanical micrographs as my reference material, I strive to capture the true essence of biological structures, inviting the viewer to reflect on how often-complex life forms allude to the handiwork of a Grand Designer.
My hope is that through such reflections, my work can perhaps offer insights into questions often embedded deep within the human spirit regarding origins of life, our purpose and identity.
Gina Jacklin (Duque) is a visual artist and graduate from Western University in London, Ontario. Originally from Cali, Colombia, she immigrated to Canada with her mother at the age of 11. Gina resides in Guelph, Ontario where she works from her home based studio.
My art journey began at the tender age of two when I’m told by my mother, that I would sit happily squiggling away for hours when given some paper and an assortment of coloured crayons. My love of shapes and color began early and since then, art has always played a significant role in my life. I credit my wonderful mother for having recognized my artistic gifts early on and for having constantly encouraged and supported my artistic passions unwaveringly throughout the years. In 2001, she and I settled in Canada as new immigrants from Colombia living in the small, rural town of Walkerton, ON. As I grew up, so did my love and passion for art, which together with my mom’s encouragement, paved the way for my serious academic pursuit in the field of Fine Arts in 2007.
In 2009 however, I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The gut-wrenching, dreaded cancer news had struck me like a nightmare and I soon began a new chapter in my life that ushered in a long, painful and arduous journey of three long years in chemotherapy.
At the time of my diagnosis, I was in the midst of completing my second year of my bachelor’s degree in Fine Art at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. The timing of my diagnosis coincided with a period where I was striving to develop my artistic voice and style. Cancer had caused me to reflect on my own ‘biological landscape’ so to speak, and I became enamored with the biology and the human body from a scientific perspective. It was through looking and understanding my own body close up from the multitude of CT Scans, MRIs and X-rays I was subjected to, that I developed a deep appreciation for the design of the human body that, even at its weakest, still functioned so remarkably well despite being attacked by cancerous cells and chemotherapy toxins designed to kill any fast-growing cell. Seeing my body sustain me through chemotherapy was an incredible display of resilience that I never thought my body was capable of enduring, and I thus had never fully appreciated. It was during this time of hardship when creating art developed into something more than just a passion and chosen field of study, evolving into a therapeutic, soulful & meaningful practice.
In 2015, my life was transformed yet again, but this time by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This ultimate renewal of heart and mind have allowed me to weave together my passion for art, experience as a cancer survivor, and my appreciation for biology and theology, into my artwork. My life experiences have culminated in me, a desire to capture the beauty and awe present in the universe, experienced only by grace, even amidst chaos, disorder and brokenness.
So, Why Do I Create Art?
My desire is to glorify my Maker by creating artwork that speaks to the thoughtful, design process of Creation, together with a scientific perspective that seeks to highlight the purpose and beauty of the natural world. My hope is that my artwork also has the ability to connect to you in a manner that uplifts your spirit, renews your mind and resonates deep within your soul.
Copyright © Gina J. Duque. Content cannot be reproduced without permission. All rights reserved.