In 2015, on a well-planned artistic impulse and persuaded by a dare, I launched my first weather balloon into the atmosphere. With the launch and recovery of this first balloon also came the founding of Gibas Aeronautics, a playful interaction with atmospheric travel and my community of fellow artists. Within this vicarious act of exploration, the journey of the mission and collective effort brought us together around a common purpose, strengthening our connection to one another as human beings.
Underlying the playful exchange of ranking titles, maps and data, and breathtaking footage recovered from the flights, I strove for a better understanding of the human relationship to the astronomical universe. By working together to better understand our relationship to the universe, we could push against the sense of insignificance often felt in contemplation of the cosmos, and instead create a sense of belonging in the universe as our home.
My current bodies of work emanate from those same desires and questions that have previously urged me to explore the skies. The images I create act as a form of vicarious exploration, taking me further than reality permits. I draw inspiration from science fiction and fantasy, and create new realities where there is justification for the implausible, irrational, or absurd to happen. Combining familiar landscapes and life forms of earth with the great expanse of unknown in which we belong brings levity to the otherwise weighty existential discussion of life in the universe.
Amy Gibas received her MFA in Painting + Drawing from Ohio University in 2017, and her BFA in Painting and Drawing from Saginaw Valley State University in 2014. She continues to search for her place in the universe in order to find her place on Earth.
The 100 Day Project
Postcards from Space were created as a part of The 100 Day Project, a practice in daily creative exercises connecting artists working on individual projects within the same 100 day time frame. During the 100 Days, a group of artists belonging to Studio 23 in Bay City, Michigan met regularly to share progress, support, and critiques, as well as connecting through social media to each other and a larger community of regionally participating artists. Pieces were developed in the spirit of creating without fear, focusing on artistic intuition and allowing the work to grow without over-conceptualization. The resulting images became a reflection of process, exploration, and uninhibited imagination.