Those who practice meditation know how it can improve your mental health and evoke a sense of inner calm. Australian-born, French-raised artist Gil Bruvel explores these feelings of serenity with his ever-growing collection of wooden sculptures. Each large-scale, wall-mounted piece depicts a face with the subject’s eyes closed, seemingly deep in thought. Bruvel’s most recent works are “a reminder of what it looks like to be centered and at peace.”
Since we last featured Bruvel’s work in 2019, the prolific artist has been busy on a number of new series. In particular, The Mask Series explores the artist’s 40-year experience practicing vipassanā meditation. Each sculpture represents a different emotional state and gives a “non-verbal expression through the use of form, patterns, and color.”
Comprising countless painted wooden sticks, each of Bruvel’s sculptures looks like a 3D pixelated image of a face. Up close, the squares and rectangular shapes appear as a variegated jumble of wood. However, once the viewer steps back, they can appreciate the gentle facial forms and the sculpture’s subtle color gradients. Even the back of each piece is an important part of the artist’s message. Appearing even more pixelated and disarranged, the backs of the sculptures represent the “abstract workings of the mind.”
Through his work, Bruvel invites viewers to contemplate their inner selves. “The assemblage of pixel-like stick-ends conveys the hidden realm of emotion, sensation, and thought—our internal universe,” explains Bruvel. “The gradients of color represent the flows of feeling and consciousness that pass through our minds like ripples on a lake, leaving the lake unchanged.”
Check out some of Bruvel’s latest work below, and find more from his portfolio on his website.