Rebecca Ruth Goutal Artist Bio
Rebecca Ruth Goutal
~ Artist Statement, and Portfolio below ~
Rebecca Ruth Goutal is a passionate, soul inspired Transformative Artist and co-founder of Lovemedicine, creatively supporting compassionate human evolution, and the cultivation of conscious loving interdependence, in balance with all creation. In practice for over 15 years, Rebecca offers a dynamic range of individual and group transformative art experiences, designed to unleash our true essential nature, and liberate our capacity to fully embrace life with clarity, loving presence, connection, passion, purposeful action, and celebration. She embodies a vibrant heart consciousness and clarity that infuses her exceptional body of work with unique potency.
In addition to her Transformative Arts offerings, Rebecca maintains a rich Fine Arts practice. In 2016 Rebecca created a series of multilayered sight specific performance pieces entitled, Self Creating Nature and, Of The Land – Forgotten Rituals of Belonging, performed at Chesterman’s Beach, Tofino, Vancouver Island, and New Brighton Park, Vancouver, BC; Video Installations shown at Emily Carr University upper Gallery. In 2015, Rebecca created, Voice of the Forest, an interactive video installation piece, shown at The Sunshine Coast Museum and the Woodward’s Atrium in Vancouver, BC as part of a collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation, Deer Crossing the Art Farm, ECUAD, and Town of Gibsons.
Rebecca is currently invested in Fine Arts and Community Engagement at Emily Carr University and Transpersonal Psychology Counseling Education. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Transformative Justice from Selkirk College where, in 2013, she founded Meant to be Art, a collaborative Creative Inclusion program, rooted in the Transitional Training department (serving people with disabilities), intended to creatively weave connections college wide. She also received trainings in Community Mediation, Non-Violent Conflict Intervention, Conflict Resolution, and Compassionate Communication through the Transformative Justice program.
During 2001-2008, Rebecca co-founded MythMaker, a multimedia theater collective, dedicated to empowering youth and community through researching, rewriting, and performing cultural mythology, to shed light on our collective past and the potentials of our future through offerings and explorations of archetypes, sacred theater, masks and costumes, music, dance, fire dance, shadow play and puppetry, storytelling, group dynamics, and community collaborations. Rebecca devoted 7 years of group transformative facilitation and fine art expertise to creating the foundations of Mythmaker which continues to thrive to this day. In 2000, Rebecca created a body of paintings, entitled: Maiden to Motherhood which represents the spiritual and archetypal currents of the cycles of human life on Earth, shown at The Hungry Wolf and the Wild Nectar in the Slocan Valley and Nelson, BC.
For over 2 decades, Rebecca’s facilitation and involvement in Women’s Circles has greatly contributed to women’s’ healing, connection, and empowerment through shared wisdom, skills, creative experiential healing process, and feminine mysteries of the sisterhood. Rebecca is currently collaborating with professional actress and musician, Maggie Blue to offer Bloom Girls Empowerment Project, supporting adolescent girls through teaching Visual and Performance Art, combined with talking circle, communication, and resilience skills, at SchoolCreative in Vancouver
Rebecca is a devoted Mother of two magnificent teenagers and loves family. She loves the forest and seas, creative community, Art making, ecstatic dance, sacred music, and Divine intimacy with her beloved. She is nourished by Indigenous and Eastern spiritual traditions that have enriched her life for many years. Currently, Rebecca is in creative synergy with her divine beloved Vince to create new and broad reaching pathways for Lovemedicine Transformative Arts.
The Art of
Rebecca Ruth Goutal
My artistic practice is at a moment of culmination and transformation. Simultaneously, I am in the process of completing some long term, personal, in depth paintings, while starting with fresh curiosity for a deeper understanding of myself as an artist, in the context of community, Transformative Arts, my core motives, values, and the dialogue/function of art institution. I am returning to my final year of studies at Emily Carr University, (after 18 years of working mostly out of the realms of art institution, and commodification).
I have renewed commitment to work as an artist and, contribute through this mode, taking my breadth of art experience that spans, painting, sculpture, mask making, costume, and puppet creation, performance, music, dance, and community collaborative art facilitation to a more refined and integrated practice, both as a Fine Artist and Transformative Artist, within the context of a quickly changing world.
The core of my practice, over the past 20 years (and will probably continue to be), has been centered around an exploration of where my feelings are the strongest and how that relates to the collective timeless consciousness, the Land, and Contemporary challenges of humanity. The persistent themes in my work as an artist are: The unseen and archetypal in Nature and humanity, the spectrum of worlds experienced through the connection and dis-connection between humans and our natural world, the role of technology, industry, mythology and story, the importance of indigenous culture and practices from my own ancestors and from around the world, social justice, family, community, conflict and Transformation, balance, spirituality, ritual, perceptual change, the power of feelings, authenticity, and vulnerability.
My artistic methods and techniques vary widely yet, there is a continuous thread of personal (sometimes secret) creative/spiritual practices that support me to maintain and deepen my relationship/allegiance with the natural world and with people. I consider this foundational, both for integrity and research.
Part of my art creation process is oriented to a more introspective and meditative approach, as with painting, singing, sculpture, mask making, and some ritual, site specific, and art installation. The Self Portrait, in its many forms, has been a long term exploration for me. I have created many since my childhood. I have come to view this practice as a form of Transformative, self reflective process that, while valuable for myself, goes beyond the personal to the shared collective experience of humanness. I tend to be oriented to timelessness and, create over periods of time, in many layers, reveling in the material process as it relates to the unseen, spiritual, and feelings realms, formal considerations, and the materials themselves. It is important for me to sense the conversation between my art and life as it unfolds.
The other component of my practice is more interactive in process, as in performance, dance, music, Transformative Art, and community art. The performance practices I have been involved with have been interactive and based in ancient, evolving mythologies.
(Below ~ an array of my personal Archetypal Costumes and Masks)
Ecstatic Dance/movement and Music/sound practices have contributed to my performances and collaborative experimental sacred theater experience. Through movement and sound, I practice deep expression of the worlds within me and embodiment of sacred archetypal energies. I love to sing, play violin, piano, sruti box, hoop drum, and other percussive instruments. Collaborative Music and Dance are uniquely attractive to me because of the immediacy of their creation and, how they rely on deep listening, giving and receiving, and the unique and personal sound/feeling/movement of the moment. The interaction can be deeply moving and informative.
What I receive from these sessions, whether they are solo or with others, often becomes part of the conversation between my art and life, informing other art creations and life choices. Singing my prayers creatively is foundational to my personal practice.
Sacred theater has been a long time, transformative community art practice for me, beginning with the co-founding of Mythmaker 16 years ago with Hjeron O’Sidhe, combining ceremony, ritual, archetypal, spiritual, artistic, social, cultural, and nature exploration to create multi layered artistic transformative experience and presentation. As members of the sacred transformative theater become familiar with the vastness within, they are called to particular sacred archetypes that are important for them at that time in their life.
As a Transformative Artist, I guide groups through experiential processes to embody their archetypes and create elaborate masks and costumes to represent it. As members move through this exploration and collaborative creation within the group, a natural synergy arises between the archetypes that have emerged through each person and, mysterious dimensions of the self and collective consciousness activated, discoveries unfold, and powerful Transformation take place.
There are no accidents. Magically, a very relevant story for our time can naturally evolve in these conditions. This story may be presented or experienced in many ways. It may be created with the intention of presenting to an audience, offered in the trees to a non human audience, or the story may evolve specifically for the group’s personal Transformation. Working collaboratively in this way opens the door to many variations of approach and outcome.
I have enjoyed a variety of Community Transformative Art Collaborations over the years and, as I have matured into parenthood, it has been important for me to explore themes of deep femininity and motherhood in relation to family, nature, and today’s industrial society. I have offered community puppet shows, with my own handmade puppets, usually delving into the Magic of the natural world, it’s Sacredness in the way that our lives are supported by it, and Indigenous Values of caring for All our Relations for the next seven generations.
One of my recent Community Transformative Art projects was a Creative Inclusion program I spearheaded and facilitated while at Selkirk College, in the Transformative Justice Program ~ a collaborative project, rooted in the Transitional Training department (serving people with disabilities) and extending school wide. The program was designed to build bridges and, offer a variety of expressive, connective art opportunities for the Selkirk College community – intended to enliven our creative and emotional intelligence, as a healthy balance to academic study.
This Creative Inclusion collective named itself Meant To Be Art because, they felt we were “meant to be.” We embarked on and created three large scale community projects, two of which are shown below. The first is called, “Edges and Bridges.” As a core group, we orchestrated the idea and structure for the piece and, then held open, school wide art sessions where people could come and select a piece of the mandala to artistically express the theme. We then held finishing sessions where the school community was invited to put the finishing touches on the piece, including some text.
The second piece entitled, Web of Life, Weaving a Journey of Balance was fashioned with a relatively similar approach. A giant cedar hoop was created out of branches I gathered, with reverence for the land, from a small clearcut nearby my home. In a central area of Selkirk College, our core group facilitated the creation of a web-like structure within the Cedar hoop. Over a period of weeks, sessions were held for people to create small hanging sculptures to hang within the hoop’s web, inspired by the themes of wellness, balance, and interconnectedness, sculpted out of found objects, natural materials, collage, paint, paper mache, and pen. In the final phase of this project, our core group continued to hold space for the school community to come together and make finishing touches of rainbow colored ribbons, Cedar bows, and more. Over 100 people participated in the creation of this piece and, I witnessed many beautiful interactions in a space that had been almost devoid of art or any sense of social adventurousness.
Through my devotion to community collaboration, I seek a healthy balance between building relationships and creating a successful work of art. Every experience shows me a way to improve and, methods of collaboration are of the utmost interest to me, as I have explored and improvised them extensively and, am eager to learn more. There seems to be an ebb and flow between inner and outer approaches. My balance to collaboration is my own autonomous work which continues to call me.
In the past year, I created Voice of the Forest, an interactive video installation piece, exploring the importance of urban forests, shown at The Sunshine Coast Museum and the Woodward’s Atrium in Vancouver, BC as part of a collaboration with the David Suzuki Foundation, Deer Crossing the Art Farm, ECUAD, and the Town of Gibsons. It is a multilayered video installation of the most profound living landscapes that I was able to witness and piece together, through the medium of video, with a musical soundscape and vocal expression of the messages I have heard from my times of immersion in the Forest. Branches of a fallen cottonwood tree I found in an industrial area became the structure for the projection installation environment within which people were able to interact by creating shadows with their bodies and forest materials I collected. To view the video, Voice of the Forest, go to (insert video link).
My most recent work is a series of multilayered sight specific ritual performance pieces, videoed, and evolved into installation and photographic works entitled, Self Creating Nature and, Of The Land – Forgotten Rituals of Belonging, performed at Chesterman’s Beach, Tofino, Vancouver Island and New Brighton Park, Vancouver, BC; Video Installations shown at Emily Carr University upper Gallery. In both pieces I explore the themes of the effect of globalization and industrialization on personal identity, belonging to the Land, loss of place, fragmentation of identity, reclaiming/alchemizing and transforming identification with the land, soul connection, and recreating belonging.
In Self Creating Nature, I enacted the original ritual performance piece by collecting kelp and other seaweed, grasses, mosses, shells, twigs, lichens, and other natural materials. I then found a place on the beach where the tide would slowly bring a stream toward me, as I sculpted clay onto my face and body and, adorned myself with the kelp, shells, and seaside forest matter, reforming myself – from the spirit of the land merged with my spirit.
The video of this ritual performance later became part of an installation piece where I projected the moving picture into a copper bowl of water that reflected the projection onto a wall, through veils of lace (representing the European fragmentation of feminine identity through the ages) hung across a clothes line with clothespins. A small Teepee like structure (referring to both European and “North American” ancient Indigenous dwellings) held a bunching of fabric and mesh saturated with water that slowly caused droplets to fall into the bowl of water and disrupt the reflection of the video in the water. This ambiently rippled shifts in the imagery on the lace and wall. The technology of the projector was intentionaly visible as a representation of our current inundation with technology.
In the first layer of this piece, I was performing a ritual of re-creating my myself physically and spiritually, in atunement with the land. Through the installation piece, viewers were offered an immersive, personal experience of displacement, fragmentation, and the power of longing, connection, and transformative re-creation, reclamation. (To view video clips of the ritual go to: (Insert video link.)
Of The Land – Forgotten Rituals of Belonging, continued on the themes and approach from Self Creating Nature and went deeper into exploring the complex dimensions of the Land at what is currently known as New Brighton Park in Vancouver, close to where I live. Through in depth relational processes and reflections with the land at this park, over time, I created a ritual performance piece with my beloved Vince, in which we gathered both natural and human made materials from the beach at New Brighton Park and, performed a ritual of belonging by sculpting one another lovingly with clay, and adornments of the found matter from the beach.
(To view video clips of the ritual go to: (Insert video link.)
We did this with the intention of merging and coming into deeper relation with the land, through empathic, compassionate connection with it – with all that is present in the land – the creatures of the land and sea, the spirits of the land, the ancestral, historic unjust shift from Indigenous to settler occupation/governance, the emergence of the strong presence of globalized industry and its fragments of discarded products, efforts of current Indigenous and settler inhabitance to enjoy and honor the land, and the strain of continued manufactured landscaping. We sculpted and adorned one another through a deep sense of love and devotion to one another and, longing for belonging in the land that we live in.
We performed this ritual with all of these materials, sensations, and intense emotions engaged, having spent many days throughout the previous months in reflective exploration, appreciation, experiencing a wide spectrum of feeling from grief to joy and delight, at the site. We had no idea how this ritual would feel yet, I can say it was very powerful. We ended by walking backward into the ocean in a place where most people don’t swim because of industry nearby. My daughter filmed us on a cell phone. It was a powerful embracing of many things that I am deeply uncomfortable with.
The next incarnation for
Of The Land – Forgotten Rituals of Belonging (other than the continued internal personal transformation) was a video installation piece with similar elements of Self Creating Nature. I collected natural and human made materials (litter and rotting landscape infrastructure) from “New Brighton” park and used them to create a landscape around a reflecting pool (a large copper bowl of water).
This time, I divided the space with a plastic sheet to give a sense of the inaccessibility of times gone by when belonging to the land was a simple matter.
On one side of the plastic, I created a large Teepee-like structure (made from the branches of a fallen cottonwood tree I found in an industrial area), with a cozy, inviting environment, including a raw wool weaving.
On the other side of the plastic wall, I set up a video projector, projecting our ritual of belonging. I allowed the projector to be a visible part of the environment, representing globalization and technology.
The video of the ritual was projected onto the water in a copper bowl which reflected the moving image onto the plastic sheet wall, representing the veils of time, experience, perception, and memory. (This is what most of the pictures you see here are from).
I set up a small teepee-like structure, with water saturated gauze hanging in the center that dripped water periodically into the bowl of water, disturbing the reflected imagery.
The light from the projection was cast into different areas of the room when the droplets fell, illuminating different details and sometimes even causing an effect that was reminiscent of the Northern lights. An aroma from the beach materials mingled with the soundscape I created, offering a full sensory journey into Forgotten Rituals of Belonging.
I am also currently collaborating with professional actress and musician, Maggie Blue to offer Bloom Girls Empowerment Project, supporting adolescent girls through teaching Visual and Performance Art, combined with talking circle, communication, and resilience skills, at SchoolCreative in Vancouver
As I continue on my artist path, It is likely that I will deepen my exploration of the themes I’ve been working with in, Of the Land, Forgotten Rituals of Belonging, further exploring interactive art and performance; honing my abilities and connections in collaboration and community engagement; allowing my Transpersonal Psychology Transformative Arts practice and Lovemedicine offerings to infuse my art creations with greater depth, meaning, and integration with life.
I feel my art, healing practices, and experience of life weaving together to create more powerful Transformative Art Offerings every Year. This year I have begun a new painting series in collaboration with my beloved, Vince, that works with the theme of Birthing a New World of Peace into Being.
I look forward to another cycle of shared learning, creation, and inspiration!
Rebecca Ruth Goutal
Co-Founder of Lovemedicine