• Leda van der Post

    Leda van der Post
    • Artist Statement
      • My work is an expression of what is going on in my head and my heart, in my life and in the world I find around me. My paintings are not realistic, although the forms are drawn from real life—people, animals, flowers and other objects. I use colour, shape and texture to represent ideas, characters and emotions.
        I have always been interested in the varying facets of objects, people and situations, and the differences between surface reality and what is hidden. This has led to a layered way of working. I work with mostly oil paint on stretched cotton. I often drip paint or a medium on the canvas for texture, and effects that are partly out of my control. I also scratch into a surface layer with patterns or writing, both to create texture and layers of meaning.
        My intention is to explore the beauty and soul of everyday objects and life, without being too serious. There is a story behind every painting, but each story is my own personal perspective. I prefer others to view a painting through their own eyes, and interpret it in their own way, free of my personal bias. I am an optimist by nature and my aim is to create work that brings light and colour into lives that are too often weighed down by the difficult realities of daily living, thus inspiring a sense of playfulness and everyday magic.
    • Biography
      • B.A. Fine Art (Michaelis School Of Fine Art)

        Port Elizabeth based artist Leda van der Post has spent most of her life finding ways to balance her innate creativity with her sense of logic. Her work encompasses different disciplines and has found expression in different forms: painting, writing and teaching (she has a PhD in Computing Sciences).
        Her unique paintings express her personal view of the world she lives in, through brightly coloured, textured and detailed visual “stories” of the lives, animals and objects around her. Strongly influenced by fauvist Matisse and the multi-faceted genius of Picasso, her intention is to create beautiful works of light and colour that inspire a sense of playfulness and magic.
        Leda received a degree in Fine Arts from UCT’s Michaelis School of Fine Art, before travelling and living abroad for a number of years. She has since returned to her home town of Port Elizabeth. Her work can be found in private collections in Australia, England and the United States.

        Selected Exhibitions:

        2005:    “Ordinary Things”
        at Cuyler Street Gallery, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
        1995:    “Simply Art”
        By invitation of the Young Friends of the NSW Art Gallery
        at Simply French Restaurant, Sydney, Australia
        1994:    “Art in Shopfronts”
        Sydney, Australia
        1993:    “Fragmentations”
        with Sally Kidall at Tapas de Espana, Sydney, Australia
        1991:    “femme f’tarts”
        As part of DISSONANCE
        at AIRSPACE, Sydney, Australia
        1991:    “Hors d’Oeuvres”
        Group show at ARTLET, Sydney, Australia
        1985:    Michaelis Art School Group Exhibition
        Grahamstown Festival of the Arts, South Africa

    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        I am very interested and inspired by the trend referred to as Pan-Africanism – that is, despite the immense diversity of the continent, all Africans (and their countries) have much in common. The whole of idea of our art expressing our vast differences at the same time as showing what we have in common relates to my personal interpretation of the world and life in which I see the universal as being expressed also in the individual.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        Irma Stern. I visited the Irma Stern museum for the first time when I started studying at Michaelis (UCT). It made an impression on me which I have never forgotten. For a woman of her time and cultural environment to commit herself to achieving success on her own terms, was to me such an example. And then, of course, much of her work shows the influence of my own favourites, Matisse and Picasso.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
        A Matisse retrospective held in Sydney when I was living there during the 1990s. Matisse had always been one of my favourite artists, but I had never before seen so many of his works together at the same time; and such a wide range, from very early work to pieces from late in his career. The impact of seeing all these works in real life was enormous. I still have the catalogue from the show, and refer to it regularly.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

        My work is inspired by what is all around me – what is going on in my head and my heart, in my life, and in the world. The forms that find their way into my paintings are my own interpretations of the people, animals, flowers and other objects in my world. And of course, using colours and textures that express the emotions or ideas associated with the story of each painting is a critical part, for me, of my work.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?
        I am not “precious” about my paintings. If something isn’t working, I will simply take off the canvas and stretch a new one. Or sometimes I paint over the old one, which allows the original layers to add something to the new idea. Or I cut out sections I like, and stick them on a new canvas to use as part of a new composition.

        What do you like most about being an artist?
        I love the opportunity to create something beautiful from (apparently) nothing. Although of course, every work has its essence in something real.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?
        The multi-layered technique I use means that some parts of each painting are a fairly mechanical process. Sometimes, just getting on and filling in a background helps to shift any blocks.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        Getting over the fear of seeing my “soul” on display in my very first exhibition in Sydney. At the opening I overheard a couple making very critical comments about my work, which at the time was quite devastating. However, I was given a positive review in the newspaper the following day, which helped put it all in perspective.

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
        I would love my work to bring light and colour, and a sense of hope and playfulness into the lives of those who see it.

        What are your plans for the coming year?
        Get my older work out into the world, and continue painting, painting, painting. I will continue the deepening of expression of my ideas in my work.

  • The Call Of Home - Painting by Leda van der Post LEDA VAN DER POST
    The Call Of Home
    Painting / 46 x 51 cm
    R4 500
  • Place Of Peace - Painting by Leda van der Post LEDA VAN DER POST
    Place Of Peace
    Painting / 120 x 100 cm
    R11 750
  • Her Courage Is Written On Her Body - Painting by Leda van der Post
    Her Courage Is Written On Her Body
    Painting / 120 x 100 cm
  • The Healing Power - Painting by Leda van der Post
    The Healing Power
    Painting / 46 x 61 cm