Intuition lies at the base of Gherdai Hassell’s creative process. A self-taught artist, her practice includes painting and collage making, with her work consisting mostly of women (and specifically women of color) portraits. “The work is beyond me,” writes Hassell on her website, “I can’t claim myself as the source for it. I’m just the vessel.”
According to Hassell, her passion for art was always there. “I have loved art since I was a child,” she told PinkSand Entertainment. “I’ve always had a creative mind and wanted to build or create or bring to life those images in my head.” As such, she treats her practice as her calling, tackling themes that include representation, perception, and identity creation.
“I usually create pieces that have deeper meanings and are controversial,” notes Hassell. “I once saw a quote that read, ‘if it doesn’t disturb you, it’s not art’. I wholeheartedly believe this, art is supposed to move people, invoke feeling, if it doesn’t do this, it’s not a great piece of work. I want my art to inspire, excite, motivate, move, promote question of the status quo and push conversion of controversial topics.”
With her work exhibited in countries like Bermuda and China, Hassell’s message is clearly getting across. “It’s an honor for me to create this work. I’m doing what I’ve been called to, and for that, I’m grateful,” she says.