• San-Marí van Wyk

    San-Marí  van Wyk
    • Artist Statement
      • I am strongly influenced by the practice of art therapy which is based on the belief that creative expression is healing (Malchiodi 2007:67; Spaniol 2001:221) and could also function as a coping mechanism (Malchiodi 2007:67; Spaniol 2001:221, 294). The practice of art therapy recognises the bond between the making of art, and the mind, body and spirit, and argues that issues concerning any of those aspects can be explored, expressed and confronted through the making of art (Malchiodi 2007:40). I subscribe to this belief as well.

        I have used the creative process as a therapeutic method and aim to produce artworks that would be a life-size visual journal of my inner world as day by day I try to cope with the reality of bipolar disorder and the influence it has on my life.
        My concept was incited by the idea that the creation of art holds within it many mystic wonders which may include a sense of belonging, a sense of coping, a sense of healing, and a strengthened sense of self. Art therapist Susan Spaniol (2012:299) explains that by externalising their inner worlds on canvas, artists can connect with their emotions. The artwork becomes subjectified, as the artist may experience their artworks as pieces of themselves.

        Emotions and feelings are often difficult to translate into words, resulting in many people suppressing their feelings which can lead to depression, anxiety and frustration (Malchiodi 2007:133). I believe that through confronting and dealing with my own feelings and issues people might have the opportunity to confront their own difficulties when viewing my art and perhaps recognising something that resonates within themselves.
    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        Frikkie Eksteen, for his exquisite painterly style and for everything he has taught me during my studies at the University of Pretoria, which meant the world to me and inspired my painting style and growth as a painter to a great extent.
        Diane Victor, for her insanely inspiring work ethic and dedication and the way she masters her medium of choice.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?

        That is a very difficult question, which I cannot answer without lying a little bit. Truth is there aren’t really any deceased South African artists I particularly admire… at least none that I can think of at this moment… But deceased artists of the world I can answer with certainty Japanese artist Kazuo Shiraga, because of the way he completely and fully expressed himself through his painting using his whole body because a brush just wasn’t enough (He painted with his feet suspended from the ceiling by a rope!).

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

        When I was in Japan visiting my brother December 2012, we went to the Tokyo National Museum of Modern Art which had an exhibition on called “Art Will Thrill You!: The Essence of Modern Japanese Art” where after rooms and rooms and more rooms filled with art, the very last painting I saw changed my life forever. “Heimmei Sanro, a Hero of a Chinese Story” by the artist Kazuo Shiraga. There it was right in front of me, close enough to touch, this huge beautiful piece of pure emotion and life, about 2 by 3 meters, bigger than myself it felt like the painting consumed me whole, and it was amazing. I just absolutely loved the movements in the strokes, the thickness of the paint in some places and what I love most about paint – what the paint did without the artist planning it, the way the different colours from different strokes laid next to each other as a result of being layered over one another, creating their own unique patterns – it’s stunning, and it was amazing in this painting. My brother literally had to drag me away, I couldn’t leave willingly. I would have loved to just stare at the painting for endless hours studying the colours and the strokes. It makes me so excited like a little kid at Christmas!

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

        The CoBrA art movement was a big inspiration pushing me in the direction I have been going for a while, their whole view on art on how there is no rules no limits, how one must paint without any inhibition, without a preconceived image in mind. The idea that this is how one fully expresses one’s self is a big inspiration to me. So they inspired me to be inspired by my own emotions and feelings rather than looking outside at other issues – and the truth is we all share so many feelings that we all think we are feeling alone and through expressing what is inside of us we can actually reach so many people who are going through similar issues and emotions than we are.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?

        Well, I like to pre-mix all my buckets of colours and sit on the floor surrounding myself by all of them and all my brushes, I like that feeling of being surrounded by my paint and staring at my blank canvas for a little while just before I begin. I get very excited. 

        What do you like most about being an artist?
        When I am painting, or creating art I am more myself than at any other time of my life. I like the most how I know exactly who I am at that moment and how it makes me feel completely free.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?

        I try clear my mind and not overthink it, I force myself to just begin without thinking why or what or where, just to focus on feeling it.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        Being awarded the Schweikerdt Visual Arts Bursary in acknowledgement of my artworks produced during my 4th year of my BA Fine Arts degree at the University of Pretoria… that really meant a lot to me, especially after the tough year it had been.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?

        Yes for sure, I believe a life with meaning is one where you have made a difference in someone else’s life for the better. My whole life from as early as I can remember I have wanted to become involved with a childhood cancer foundation and help kids with cancer – therefore my ultimate goal is to do my masters in art therapy so I can give art therapy to kids with cancer. But I want to make enough money selling my art and doing something else like giving art classes or something so I can do the art therapy pro bono because I really don’t want to ask money from the parents who are already knee deep in medical costs for their children. That’s my dream.

        What are your plans for the coming year?

        Of course for sure without a doubt – keep painting, develop my ideas and make more art! Work on making my mark on the South African and global art scene… that is my main focus.

        And also getting involved in CHOC, they have a volunteer position where you can apply to spend time with the children and do arts and crafts with them which sounds awesome. Finding a job – I have no idea what or where, hopefully perhaps at a gallery. Also, doing as many art therapy courses and workshops as I can – South African universities don’t have the art therapy degree yet but it is coming.

    • Video

  • Chapter I: Creation - Acrylic Painting by San-Marí  van Wyk SAN-MARÍ VAN WYK
    Chapter I: Creation
    Acrylic Painting / 190 x 190 cm
    R20 520
  • Chapter II: Creation - Acrylic Painting by San-Marí  van Wyk
    Chapter II: Creation
    Acrylic Painting / 190 x 190 cm
  • Holding On But It's Already Gone - Acrylic Painting by San-Marí  van Wyk
    Holding On But It's Already Gone
    Acrylic Painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • Let It Go - Acrylic painting by San-Marí  van Wyk
    Let It Go
    Acrylic painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • Where Have You Been? - Acrylic painting by San-Marí  van Wyk
    Where Have You Been?
    Acrylic painting / 122 x 92 cm
  • Chapter II: Translation - Mixed Media by San-Marí  van Wyk
    Chapter II: Translation
    Mixed Media / 190 x 190 cm
  • Chapter II: Reinterpretation - Painting by San-Marí  van Wyk
    Chapter II: Reinterpretation
    Painting / 190 x 190 cm
  • Freedom In The Strokes - Painting by San-Marí  van Wyk
    Freedom In The Strokes
    Painting / 190 x 190 cm