My recent body of work is Entitled Spaces Within. It explores the intimate relationship between people. This work is made up of a series of ink and line drawings as well as very large-scale canvasses. Whilst the ink drawings are precise and contained, the paintings are large and overflowing. There is a definite rhythm and fluidity within the works. The body of work questions how we move through space and time. The abstraction of the figures asks the question of what belongs to us and how do we merge into each other. At what point do we stop and start. Most importantly, how do we affect each other?
Tanya Sternberg was born in Durban in 1977. She studied graphic design at the Ogilvy & Mather Red and Yellow School of Advertising and Design. She moved to Australia where she worked for Time Inc across their publications. On return to Cape Town she started her own design agency called Ink Design.
Tanya has passionately painted with oil on canvas for the last 20 years and is currently exploring ink on paper. Her subject matter is broad and includes portrait, figurative and landscapes. She currently paints at the Spencer Street Studio and from her home studio.
Tanya draws inspiration from her environment, the subtle interactions between people around her and above all her family. She currently resides in Cape Town with her husband and three children.
Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
I love the diversity of South African Art. Galia Gluckmans painting with paper. Paul Senyal’s mixed media. Andrew Versters Mangrove Swamp paintings.
Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Robert Hodgins. His use of colour and space is electric. I find his subject matter disturbing and rewarding at the same time.
Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
Andrew Verster Mangrove Swamp exhibition for the virbrancy of colour, texture and scale of the paintings. Mark Rothko Tate Gallery for there colour, space and calm.
Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
From the worlds beauty. From peoples subtle interactions between each other.
Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?
I always try paint with a sense of gratitude within myself.
What do you like most about being an artist?
The ability to express myself without using words.
How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?
With much frustration but always with an attitude that tomorrow is another day:>
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
My greatest achievement is that my art gives me a sense of strength and calm which enables me to be a better mother, wife and person.
Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
I believe in Gandhi’s motto: “Be kind when possible. It is always possible.” One can change the world by grand gestures but equally importantly in minute subtle ways. I would like to be as generous as possible, be environmentally aware, be kind and gentle in all my interaction with fellow human beings.
What are your plans for the coming year?
To create a body of work reflecting my recent trip to the Delta. To continue with my study in ink drawings of the body.