Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
Trends: I love the fact that embroidery, which has its roots in antiquity, is now gaining interest in the art scene. This timeless craft has been re-energized by visionary artists who push the boundary of its meaning and limits.
Artists: Kate Gottens poolside paintings, for her vibrant colour combinations and the use of unexpected perspective which allow her works to maintain a certain sense of excitement in the “everyday”.
Ruby Swiney’s vibrant monochromatic large scaled paintings.
Katharine Spindler’s deeply emotive paintings that display her skillful depiction of light and shadow.
Peter Eastman’s monochromatic hyper-realistic oils on aluminium are phenomenal.
Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Jacob Pierneef for his modernist and geometric style which revolutionized South African art. His iconic landscapes have a wonderful stillness, devoid of human life and saturated with dramatic light and colour of the highveld.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
That is difficult as ones taste changes over the years. Currently, and keeping it local, I would love to own any of the following, “Luncheon on the Grass” by Debra Poynton; “Cold Stream VII” by Peter Eastman; “Bromide Beach” by Kate Gottens; or any of Caryn Scrimgeour’s work.
Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
I think it is important that there is a sense of synergy within an exhibition so for that reason I would be honored to exhibit with any of the following artists (the first three I’ve already had the privilege of exhibiting with in the past) Laurel Holmes, Joanne Reen, Catherine Ocholla, MJ Lourens, Janet Dirkson, Joshua Miles.
How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
Growing up, the arts and creative activities were always encouraged in our household. I studied Graphic Design at Johannesburg College of Art and after graduating I worked in the advertising industry for a number of years. I was fortunate enough to attend art lessons with Ann Lindsell-Stewart and under her tutorship the passion for painting flourished. I started painting full time around 2008.
What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
-The urban landscape: I view the city as a stage on which daily acts significant or insignificant are played out.
-The quiet spaces within the city, monuments and gardens and verdant oases where one can reflect and commune with nature.
-Figures: swimming, strolling floating, immersed in nature.
What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
That my subject matter is mostly inspired from my daily commute in and around the city or from my morning walks. It often takes me a little longer to get to my studio as I am prone to ‘chase the light,’ just to capture the harbour or city at that specific moment. Needless to say, I have found amazing vantage points from which to do this and at the same time discovered more of this beautiful city that I call home.
Tell us more about your creative process.
I almost always have a clear idea of what I intend to paint and make use of my vast photographic reference files. I start by laying thin washes of paint on the surface as I find a blank white canvas quite daunting, this process often requires a few layers to achieve the desired effect. Loose compositional lines and shadow areas follow, detail is then added while retaining the loose expressive happenings in the underpainting which is important in my attempts to move towards more abstraction. I work on a few paintings at the same time resulting in small cohesive bodies of work, either through the subject matter or colour palette. I enjoy experimenting with different media and surfaces with the desire to move towards a more multi-disciplined art practice. I love embroidery as this quiet and intricate art form is not only therapeutic but also satisfies my love of detail.
Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
Although acknowledging that throughout history art has played a role in influencing society, I don’t feel that artists should feel compelled to create work for that purpose only, as art can be equally significant and relevant purely for its aesthetics.
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
I have a few that I felt were successful and I really enjoyed creating them as I felt that they just flowed. I am mindful of the need to grow as an artist and therefore always feel that there is a better piece waiting to emerge from the wings.
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
It would have to be my debut solo I had in June 2019 followed by another solo in November 2019, a huge amount of work but a great sense of achievement.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To continue exploring new media, experimenting and ultimately enjoying the process of making art.
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