Tharien Smith

Tharien Smith

South Africa | 3 artworks for sale

For me, the most beautiful thing about the rain is that it feels like a new beginning. A fresh start. It signifies hope. After all, water is the life's blood of all creation, the thing that connects us all. It has the ability to make you feel more alive than any other manmade high.

What I like about cities is that everything is king-size - the beauty as well as the ugliness. Our relations with cities are like our relationships with people. We love them, hate them, or are indifferent toward them. It is humanity compressed. The best and the worst combined, in a strangely composite community.

In my Rain series, I am focusing on people living in an urban environment.
I'm interested in the contrast between the rain that refreshes while bringing new hope and the rushed lives that can drain you. I find it fascinating that - although we are all connected by living in the city, water and our very own DNA - we are indifferent to one another. I'm still trying to make sense of it all. In the concrete jungle, we are all part of the rat race, rushing around and passing one another in close quarters, but can still feel lonely and disconnected. I use a bright orange thread in contrast to the grittiness of the grey to symbolise the connectedness many of us still crave.

Tharien graduated with a National Textile Diploma from TUT in 1995. She has spent most of her career working in various creative corporate environments, designing everything from furnishing fabrics to fashion, graphics and ceramic tiles. The artist resides in Cape Town combining skills to create beautiful artworks spanning across multiple mediums.

1992 – 1995 - National Textile Design Diploma –Tshwane University of Pretoria
1996 - TUT Photography & Fine Arts Course - Tshwane University of Pretoria – TUT
1996 - Calder School of Interior Design Certificate
1997 - SBDC/KSOK Certificate


'Home Is Where The Art Is' at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town

Youngblood Arts and Culture Trust - work on show Nov- Dec
'Meditive Moments' at Gallery One11 in Loop Street in November - December
'Under The Sea' at Gallery One11 in Loop Street in December - January
Exhibited at the AVA Gallery for the PPC Competition regionals in February 2018

'Vuleka' at Association of Bellvile, ArtB Gallery
'Tiny Treasures' at Arts Association of Bellvile, ArtB Gallery

'Flow' at 196 Victoria Road, Woodstock Cape Town

Solo exhibition 'Indians vs Nature' at Gallery On The Corner, Midrand, Johannesburg

1991 - 1995
Group exhibitions of Textiles & Fine Arts at Tshwane University Of Technology, Pretoria and Pietersburg

1992 – 1995 - Winner and runner up of several Show Case Competitions : Pretoria Botanical Gardens, Johnsons Ceramics International, Tiakeni Textiles in Swaziland & TUT PROFESSIONAL
Finalist  - Tondo, Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Barrel Head Exhibition. Hermanus FynArts  June 2017
Part of "The Creative Block" a Spier and Nandos initiative.

Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
Faith 47 Kate Gottgens and William Kentridge.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Judith Mason (1938 - 2016) She was a painter and graphic artist of symbolic and mythological landscapes, figures and portraits. Her work is rich and displays a rare technical virtuosity. Mason worked primarily in oils and pencil but also incorporated various graphic media and found objects into her work as well as having  made a number of artists' books.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Lady with an Ermine, by Leonardo da Vinci. I am a huge admirer of Leonardo, a true genius! a great artist and engineer. This painting is from around 1489–1490 and one of Poland's national treasures. The subject of the portrait is Cecilia Gallerani, painted at a time when she was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, and Leonardo was in the service of the duke.

Pick three artists who you would be honored to exhibit with – and why
Martine Emdur, Reisha Perlmiutter and Kate Gottgens. Fantastic technique and skill. My kind of colour palette and all based around a water theme.   I am inspired by their work.

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
Yes, I had art as a subject in school and studied textile design. I did however work in creative corporate environments for a good 15 years, before taking the plunge and relocated to Cape Town where I became a full time artist.

What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
People, we are all connected. Mainly rainy landscapes with a solitary figure walking or running.

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
Time painting = meditation

Tell us more about your creative process.
Photography is a key aspect of my creative process and where the research starts. After taking a dozen photos I will play with composition and colour in photoshop. From there a few drawings.  Play with colour to get the desired palette. After the painting is properly dry the stitching starts. No making mistakes there.

Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society?
I don’t.

Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
I have painted and photographed my muse ‘Shani” many times, 'Sleeping Beauty’ is one of my favourites that emphasizes the bitter sweet of coming to age in teenagers.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Exhibiting alongside great artists at Zeitz MOCAA, CPT.

What are your aspirations for the future?
So many ideas and so little time..
Create, create Repeat..