Artist Gill Bustamante
On Why She Supports Anti-Drug Movements
If you google Sussex landscape paintings you will inevitably find work by Sussex-based artist, Gill Bustamante.
Gill is best known for her unique working method whereby she goes for a walk somewhere and then, once home, paints a ‘memory impression’ of the place she has just been to. Though not always realistic as such, they do capture the flavour of a place together with the season in an intriguing and aesthetic way.
Gill’s love of Sussex landscapes began when she was at art college at Brighton. Unfortunately, this is also where her awareness of the dangers of drugs became highlighted, as art students, in particular, seem be targeted by their peers to experiment with drugs and alcohol. At that time, Gill knew of no literature about drugs that was not ‘preachy’ and what was available did not really discourage drug use, it just made it more of a challenge!
In her own words Gill says: “When you have just left home and are finally away from parental control, you really are quite vulnerable to peer pressure and ignorance. I lost more than a few friends to drugs. Not in the dramatic way of death by heroin but in the more insidious and common way of slow death by the lack of motivation and ability to keep going on goals long enough to achieve anything, which is very characteristic of drug and alcohol use. Although I was not able to help some of my friends, I have recently discovered the information provided at the website Drugfreeworld.org and was delighted to find it had books and courses that simply give the scientific facts about drugs in an easy to understand and very enlightening way. Even prescription drugs, which are usually seen as tame compared to something like heroin, are a massive problem which have become normal. Many drugs are needed but they all nevertheless have side effects. The most commonly missed but probably worst one being alterations to motivation and outlook.”
Gill feels very privileged to be an artist and to be doing something she loves and so she feels the urge to try and help others by making this literature known to people. She donates a portion of her art sales to this and other drug awareness and rehabilitation movements. Meanwhile she continues to explore the beautiful landscapes of the south of England and to share what she sees with others in her artwork in the hope it will make life just a bit better…