Janna Prinsloo

Janna Prinsloo

Cape Town | 17 artworks for sale

Most of my works are either landscape or of the human figure. When I depict the human figure, whether in a burst of motion or in silent contemplation, I use it to represent hidden truths and personal, internal realities. I am intrigued by the inner world of individuals and often depict a ‘soul journey’ through a landscape, or a person and their interaction with a symbolic landscape.
BA Fine Arts (University Of Pretoria)

Janna Prinsloo was born and raised in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa. After school she attended Pretoria University, and completed a BA Fine Arts degree, specializing in painting. It has been more than 10 years since she has moved to the beautiful city of Cape Town where she paints full-time, exploring various mediums, but still favoring oil paint.
Janna Prinsloo’s works form part of private collections all over the world.

Portraiture and figures have been central themes in Janna’s works in the last few years. She uses these in conjunction with abstract areas of colour and texture to represent the interaction between the seen and unseen; the body and the soul; the physical and the spiritual realm. Movement, color, and texture are used to express in physical terms that which the eye cannot see.

Selected Exhibitions:

International Exhibitions:
2020 Galerie Sonia Monti, the December Session, France
2012 NordArt Group Exhibition and Symposium, Germany

2020

Solo Exhibition, Colour My Seasons, Rust-en-Vrede, Cape Town

2019

Group Exhibition, Sanlam Portrait Award–Top 40, Rust-en-Vrede, Cape Town
Group Exhibition, Nano 1.3, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town

2018

Finalists Exhibition, State of the Art Award, State of the Art Gallery, Cape Town
Group Exhibition, A Land Invisible, National Arts Festival, by 40StonesInTheWall Collective, Grahamstown

2017

Group Exhibition, Portrait 100 (Sanlam Portrait Award), Michaelis Galleries, Cape Town
Group Exhibition, Redemptive Beauty, Eclectica Contemporary, Cape Town
Group Exhibition, FynArts Tondo Competition (finalist), Hermanus

2016
Group Exhibition, Life, Body, Time, StateoftheART, Cape Town
Group Exhibition, A Penny For Your Thoughts, Liebrecht Gallery, Somerset West

2015
Group exhibition, Aardklop Kustefees, Potchefstroom
Group Exhibition, The Grand II, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville
Small Solo, Aerial View, Holden Manz Collection, Franschhoek

2014
4-man Exhibition: Eclectica Modern Gallery, Claremont, Cape Town
Group Exhibition: Snowflake Building, Aardklop, Potchefstroom
Group Exhibition: Tiny Treasures, art.b Gallery, Bellville
Group Exhibition: The Grand, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville

2013

Group Exhibition: Muse, Casa Labia Gallery, Muizenberg, Cape Town
Group exhibition: Eye Catching Portraits, art.b Gallery, Bellville
Group exhibition, ART Gallery, Port Elizabeth
Group exhibition, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville
Group exhibition, project of ArtSpace, Johannesburg
Group exhibition, art.b Gallery, Bellville
Group exhibition, Rust-en-Vrede, Durbanville

2012

Solo exhibition (with ceramist), Tina Skukan Gallery, Pretoria

2011

Group exhibition, Is Art, Franschhoek
Solo exhibition, Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville
Group exhibition, project of ArtSpace, Johannesburg
Group exhibition, curated by Carol Lee, Johannesburg

2010

Solo exhibition at Rust-en-Vrede Gallery, Durbanville
Vuleka Art Competition, Group exhibition, art.b Gallery, Bellville
Group exhibition, project of ArtSpace, Johannesburg Theatre
Group exhibition, curated by Carol Lee, Johannesburg
Group exhibition, Dorp Straat Gallery, Stellenbosch
Group exhibition, project of ArtSpace, Johannesburg
Group exhibition, Baljaar Woordfees, Stellenbosch
Group Exhibition at Off-the-Wall gallery, Paarl

2009

Group exhibitions at Cultivaria Festival, Paarl
Two-woman exhibition, Identity, at the Ann Bryant gallery, East London

1997

Sasol New Signatures Exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum.
Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
Currently I am really enjoying abstract art, and find its elements of colour, form, texture and mark-making very inspiring. One South African artist whose abstract work I am enjoying is Toni Ann Ballenden

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Sigrid Menck
She was my grandmother. Not only did she have incredible talent, but she used her gift and wit to survive the most challenging circumstances. During WWII in Germany she gave birth to three children & kept them alive by doing portrait commissions. When they arrived in South Africa as refugees, she once again used her creative talent to help them as a family to survive.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Choosing one piece of art is way too hard. In every season of life different art pieces find extraordinary meaning.

Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why

Julien Spianti, Jason Craighead, Cy Twombly (do they have to be alive?). Because in my view they are all three brilliant artists.

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?

In Matric, our last year at school, we were set the task of choosing which career we want to pursue for the rest of our lives. The options my subjects and results set out before me were Science, Languages, or Art. I remember trying to visualize myself as a scientist, doing experiments in a laboratory for the rest of my life, and decided I would get bored after a few years. Then I tried to imagine myself immersed in the world of languages, and I just couldn’t see myself stay passionate for the long haul. But when I visualizes myself in a studio and being creative, I became so excited, and knew deep within that I could do that for the rest of my life and never grow bored. I enrolled for the university’s Fine Art degree and commenced by studies the following year.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?

Spirituality. The unseen world of the spirit and the soul. The state of the soul/ our inner worlds. The impact these realms have on the physical world around us.

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
I believe that creativity is a gift bestowed on us by God. And I have come to recognize that I am 100% dependent on His grace to be able to lean into this creativity and to paint. In difficult seasons like mourning, or during the Covid 19 level 5 lockdown, the stream of creativity seemed thwarted and I was unable to access it. This just makes me more grateful when I am able again to paint. It is truly a gift and not something one can ever take for granted.

Tell us more about your creative process.
This varies from time to time. But most often inspiration reaches me through ideas and images in my mind. I then go about getting the right reference material for those ideas. And then, once I have the correct board/canvas to work on, it starts. First, most often, I paint a layer of colour with acrylic paint (full of texture, drips, and splotches). Then the figure gets painted (or portrait). And then I try to see what kind of background the focal area needs to compliment it most. This is a simplified description, but it does summarize my creative process. There are always times of uncertainty, or the artwork talking back at me, urging me on a different path, and completely changing what I initially had planned.

Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
I believe art and its influence is such a wide field with an almost limitless scope. If an artist feels passionate about issues that affect society, then I do believe that you should be true to yourself and create from that place. Always create in response to what inspires you. For some it will be political commentary, for some social commentary. Some artists may create from a passion for beauty.
What I think is important is that your art if fueled by passion, by what moves you. Otherwise it will end up being rather superficial work, as opposed to works that can impact and move people deeply.

Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
That pretty much changes from year to year. Currently I would say my painting “Alive”.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Still painting after all these years and sticking at it despite all the hardships and challenges!
Some highlights would include the following: ?In 2012 I had an amazing opportunity of being part of NordArt’s art festival in North Germany. I even joined their symposium artists and worked for two weeks in a studio on the premises. What a wonderful experience. It blew my small world wide open.
In 2018 it was an honour to be selected among the top 10 finalists of the State of the Art Gallery Award.
And recently I was approached by a Paris-based gallery to represent me. That has been a good learning curve, and I know will continue to be a fun, stretching experience.

What are your aspirations for the future?
My biggest aspiration is to be able to continue to practice my art on a full-time basis. This is no small challenge. Otherwise, I have learned that no matter what your goals are, life generally takes you on a very different route from the one you planned. At least, that has been true for my life. I am therefore reluctant to hold to tightly to any firm aspirations.