• Danielle Hewlett

    Danielle Hewlett
    • Artist Statement
      • My work explores concepts of identity as something deconstructed and tangible.
        I am on a constant pursuit to paint paintings that might operate independently from their literal, figurative foundations, and how they might capture an exploration of colour, reduction of form and a triumph of paint, while still capturing the vibrance and energy of the sitter.
        I feel that so much can be communicated through the power of figurative painting.
        Painting for me is a physical act, and I would want the viewer to be as interested in the texture, quality and gestural application of paint, just as much as they are interested in the story of the piece. Viewing the work from afar, but equally important to be pulled in close.
        I am also constantly seeking to challenge myself and step away from what is comfortable and easy. Always pushing myself to loosen up, and I would like for my work to be less about the accurate representation of the sitter, but more a gripping painterly story.
    • Biography
      • Danielle has been surrounded by art since a very early age and viewed art as the fundamental aspect to who she is as a person. Danielle studied art privately from the age of 7, later attending The National School of the Arts where she matriculated in 1998. She then went on to study at The Surrey Institute of Art & Design. When Danielle returned to South Africa, she began teaching art privately and later took on a position teaching at the Kings School. In 2011, she took on the challenge to develop herself as a painter. She went through many an "artist-crisis" that inevitably happen when you throw yourself so far from a level at which you function with ease and familiarity, into the unexplored. It has been a period of intense self critique and exponential growth.

        Danielle considers herself a story teller and admits to an attraction to faces that immediately grab her attention and the attention of the viewer. She avoids subjects whose emotions are easily definable and considers accessible, smiling, and plainly happy subjects as banal. Danielle is not interested in the accurate representation of someone's likeness but is more concerned with a re-imagination of their vibrance and energy. She bids the viewer to look beyond the subject, and invites understanding beyond the limits of the painted form, while drawing attention to the tangible and seductive properties of paint.
        Danielle continues to push herself as a painter, and finds it important to prove to herself that she can still take risks that throw her out of her comfort zone and establish her own identity as a painter.

        Selected Exhibitions:
        Turbine Art Fair - 2014 - InToto Gallery
        Id-Entity 2 , Group Show - 2014 - InToto Gallery
        Cache II - 2015 - InToto Gallery
        Face/Figment - two person show with Illana Seati - 2016 - InToto Gallery
        Group Show - 2016 - The White House Gallery
        Tiny Exhibition - 2017 - In Toto Gallery


    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        I find Ryan Hewitt to be an incredibly exciting Artist. He's moving forward with each new body of work. Other artists would be Georgina Gratix, Linsey Levendall, Alexia Vogel.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
        That would have to be Alexis Preller (my great uncle), I suppose because he's family, it was his art that I grew up with around me and the stories of his life. He had a vast imagination and artistic genius along with a highly individual style.

        Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

        I couldn’t pin point any one exhibition, but more the experience of many exhibitions since a very young age, here in South Africa and London. My mom used to take me out of school, for days exploring galleries or joining her at art classes. Seeing Neil Rogers at the Everard Read Gallery, William Kentridge at the Goodman Gallery and Jane Alexanders Butcher Boys. It was those days that I decided this was the world I wanted to be a part of.

        Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

        People inspire me most, everyday life and the experiences that shape us. Lately my 2.5yr old daughter totally inspires me, watching her paint, she's not confined by form. I have a lot to learn from her.

        Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?

        The only one would really be that I can't start a painting on a white canvas, it needs to be painterly chaos, and from there, I can really begin. I suppose also the fact that I only work from my own photos, that’s important to me.

        What do you like most about being an artist?
        The freedom.

        How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?

        I can't say I've ever experienced artists block, but I have definitely had days in the studio that I've floundered, trying to push myself from a place at which I function with ease, throwing myself into the unknown. I don’t like getting too comfortable for too long with my work, I feel as an artist I'm always needing to take risks.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

        Probably my show last year at In Toto Gallery, but there is always so much more to achieve and work towards (after all, this is a lifelong pursuit, isn't it)?

        Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?

        My art is made with the intention to communicate with the viewer, hopefully calling on some emotion, whether pleasing or not.

        What are your plans for the coming year?
        To push myself beyond my comfort levels and take part in as many opportunities that come my way. I would also love to work towards a solo show.
  • T-Shirt - Painting by Danielle Hewlett DANIELLE HEWLETT
    T-Shirt
    Painting / 91 x 122 cm
    R18 000
  • The Great Pretender - Painting by Danielle Hewlett DANIELLE HEWLETT
    The Great Pretender
    Painting / 116 x 133 cm
    R22 800
  • In Conversation - Painting by Danielle Hewlett DANIELLE HEWLETT
    In Conversation
    Painting / 91 x 122 cm
    R18 000
  • Perception - Painting by Danielle Hewlett DANIELLE HEWLETT
    Perception
    Painting / 91 x 122 cm
    R18 000
  • Delicious Monster II - Painting by Danielle Hewlett
    DANIELLE HEWLETT
    Delicious Monster II
    Painting / 91 x 122 cm