• Jo Roets

    Jo Roets
    • Artist Statement
      • My experience in recovery from alcohol addiction has allowed me to find a connection with a diverse range of people. I have become aware of a shared humanity and our cultural differences. In my work I explore patterns and shapes derived from various South African cultures from Ndebele house-paintings to my grandmother's doilies.

        My Afrikaans grandmother always had crocheted doilies in her house. Their geometric patterns contained elements of sacred geometry. I have always been fascinated with sacred geometry as a spiritual expression and this subject matter found a perfect fit in the air-drying clay medium that I use to create my 'light relief sculptures'. The challenge lay in pushing the medium to its very limits. This manifests in manipulating the clay to its thinnest possible thickness and using unusual sculpting tools such as toothpicks and needles to achieve a delicate paper-thin sculpture.

        As a South African I am very aware of the influences of the various cultures that make up my homeland. My works include symbolic patterns and shapes inspired by Islamic prayer mats, Ndebele aprons and neck pendants, Zulu earplugs and beer pots and patterns from my own Afrikaans culture.

        Although the cultures are very different they all share a strong sense of the geometric. The challenge was to take these disparate threads and combine them in a unique way. The outcome of this work is a sense of the limitless possibilities that these combinations have to express and to create new, shared artifacts.


    • Biography
      • Capetonian Jo Roets is a passionate painter, sculptor and mould maker.

        One of the highlights of her career was to restore iconic South African puppets popular with young TV watchers in the 70’s. In 2013, The Little Marionette Company employed Jo for the difficult task of restoring the fragile originals of Liewe Heksie, Blommie Kabouter, Kwaai Babatjie and Matewis.

        Art has always been a central theme in Jo's life and art practises are interwoven in her education and professional careers. At school she attended class at Jack Meyer and P.J. Olivier. After matriculating in 1997 from Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof, she furthered her studies and obtained a Diploma in Art Direction for film and television as well as an Advanced Diploma in Motion Picture Production Design. Following this, she produced artworks required by the film industry before her lecturing career started at CityVarsity. She lectured in painting, prosthetics, special effects, props fabrication, sculpting, mould-making and casting. In 2017, after 14 years as a senior lecturer, Jo exchanged her lecturing cap for that of full time artist.

        In 2018, Jo's work was selected for four prominent art competitions:
         
        Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award Barrel Head Exhibition, Hermanus (finalist)
        Vuleka, Art.B Gallery, Bellville (finalist)
        Sasol New Signatures Art Competition 2018, Pretoria Art Museum (finalist)
        StateoftheART Gallery Award 2018, StateoftheART, Cape Town (winner)

        Jo has high expectations for her art career and passionate about establishing herself as an emerging artist in both the South African and international art arena.

        Selected Exhibitions:


        2018


        AVA Members Exhibition - group show, Association of Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town
        The Schalkenbosch Barn – group show, Schalkenbosch Wine Estate, Tulbagh
        Now & Then – group show, Christo Coetzee Museum & Gallery
        StateoftheART Gallery Award Finalist Exhibition, StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town
        Sasol New Signatures – group exhibition, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria
        Fact & Friends – group exhibition, Nova Constantia, Cape Town
        Indestructible – group exhibition, Trent Gallery, Pretoria
        Vuleka – group exhibition, ArtB Gallery, Bellville
        Tiny Treasures – group exhibition, ArtB Gallery, Bellville
        Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award - group exhibition, Hermanus
        Fish out of water - group exhibition/auction, Everard Read, Cape Town
        SASA 2018 Members' 1 - group exhibition, Kirstenbosch, Cape Town

        Members Exhibition - group show,Art B Gallery, Bellville

        2017
        Tollman Buchard Finleyson Art Award - group exhibition, Hermanus
        The Chicken Challenge - group exhibition/auction, The White River Gallery, Nelspruit

        2016
        The Chicken Challenge - group exhibition/auction, The White River Gallery, Nelspruit
        I was one of eight artists commissioned by Sappi to create a piece for this exhibition. Along with Ardmore, Anton Bosch, Ayanda Nkosi, Niki Daly, Karin Daymond, Rogerio de Andrade and Margi Malan.

        2015

        The Chicken Challenge - group exhibition/auction, The White River Gallery, Nelspruit

        2013
        Talking Strings - CityVarsity, Cape Town.
        Commissioned restorer of the original 1970's Liewe Heksie, Blommie Kabouter and Kwaai Baba puppets. The restoration work on these characters took about 4 months to complete before the opening of the exhibition.

        2005

        Franschhoek Art Expo  - group exhibition of 15 artists, Franschhoek Vineyards Building.


    • Interview
      • Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
        I am drawn to the works of Kali van der Merwe, Paula van Coller and Miranda Crooks and their use of botanical elements. I experience calm when observing their work, which is influenced by my own interest in fauna and flora as well as preserved specimens of creatures.

        Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?

        Vladimir Tretchikoff would be my favourite with Alexis Preller close on his heels. I love the vibrant colour use in their work - specifically the use of bluish-green and turquoise tones.

        If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
        It is impossible to choose just one - I'd rather choose three
        The 'Mona Lisa of kitch' - Tretchikoff's "Chinese Girl"
        Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss"
        Frida Kahlo's "Self Portrait Dedicated to Dr Eloesser"

        How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
        Although I am not trained as a fine artist, art has always been a central point in my life and fine art practices are interwoven in my education and professional careers. School years included ceramics and sculpture subjects at Jack Meyer and P.J. Olivier art schools. After matriculating in 1997, I furthered my studies and obtained a Diploma in Art Direction for film and television as well as an Advanced Diploma in Motion Picture Production Design. Following this, I was involved in the production of art required by the film industry before my lecturing career started. I lectured in sculpting, moulding, casting, painting, props fabrication, special effects and prosthetics.

        I have always been an artist dreaming of the day when I can quit my day job to pursue a fulltime art career. This moment has finally arrived.

        What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?

        Light Relief Sculptures : I find inspiration from historical shapes and patterns within divergent South African cultures. It is an exploration of shapes and the relationship between them when they are merged. My fascination with geometric patterns and the symmetry found in the complex structures of nature is the other constant in my work.

        Paintings: In my portrait paintings I draw inspiration from the 'Fayum' panel portraits. Where the Fayum portraits were created during the individual's lifetime and later used on their mummy cases to aid the passage to eternal life, I now narrate the individuals' life in reverse. The focus of these paintings is to portray the transition of fellow recovering alcoholics from their destructive previous lives to their newly found functioning sober selves.

        What inspired your latest body of work?
        The biggest inspiration stems from my own personal experience as a recovering alcoholic. I have found the power of human connectivity to be a healing and powerful catalyst of personal growth. I hold the belief that we are all connected within a golden structure and observe this phenomenon through the lives of a diverse range of people who are also recovering from similarly destructive pasts.

        Tell us more about your creative process.
        I have a great passion and sincere commitment towards both sculpture and painting and therefore produce works in both mediums.

        Light Relief Sculptures
        These pieces are sculpted with tough, specialized air-drying clay. My initial design has a fleeting purpose as a point of departure after which I allow the malleability of the clay as well as the process itself to guide the work towards completion. I combine shapes and encouraging them to co-exist in a new structure.

        Painting
        Intentional gouging, scraping and marking are all part of the preparation of my wooden canvases to represent a preceding broken-down existence of self. After which portraits are created by applying a peeling acrylic paint technique - adding more layers, taking them off and finally exposing the true colour underneath.

        What drives you as an artist?
        Finding the connection between people from divergent cultures and backgrounds.

        Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?

        I started a portrait painting of my grandmother in June 2017, two weeks before she fell ill and went into hospital. It was my entry for Sanlam Portrait Award 2017 ('Martha Maria' - Acrylic on calico board). A special moment took place when I showed her the finished painting right before she passed away five weeks later at the age of 82.
        It was so significant to be working on her portrait in between hospital visits. Painting a little line in her eye and seeing that same delicate line when looking at her in ICU. I worked from two old photographs that was taken when she was 17 years old. At the time she got engaged to my grandfather. My full name, Jo-Mari, is a combination of both their names - Joseph and Maria.

        What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
        One of the highlights of my career was to restore iconic South African puppets popular with young TV watchers in the 70’s. In 2013, The Little Marionette Company who were the custodians of Liewe Heksie, Blommie Kabouter, Kwaai Babatjie and Matewis puppets employed me for the difficult task of restoring the fragile originals. I was responsible for the intricate and multifaceted process of re-sculpting, creating moulds, casting and painting of their diminutive body parts and their final reassembling.

        What are your aspirations for the future?
        I look forward to my first solo exhibition in the near future and passionate about establishing myself as an emerging artist in both the South African and international art arena.


    • Video
  • Sanctitude - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets
    Reserved
    JO ROETS
    Sanctitude
    Light Relief Sculpture / 30 x 38 cm
    $530
  • Pause - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets
    Reserved
    JO ROETS
    Pause
    Light Relief Sculpture / 30 x 38 cm
    $530
  • Shield - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets
    Reserved
    JO ROETS
    Shield
    Light Relief Sculpture / 30 x 38 cm
    $530
  • Skin - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets
    Reserved
    JO ROETS
    Skin
    Light Relief Sculpture / 38 x 30 cm
    $530
  • Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets JO ROETS
    Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
    Light Relief Sculpture / 51 x 51 cm
    $730
  • Geometrix #NR2 - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets JO ROETS
    Geometrix #NR2
    Light Relief Sculpture / 43 x 43 cm
    $510
  • Geometrix #NR1 - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets JO ROETS
    Geometrix #NR1
    Light Relief Sculpture / 43 x 43 cm
    $510
  • Searching For Shape #NR3 - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets JO ROETS
    Searching For Shape #NR3
    Light Relief Sculpture / 22 x 27 cm
    $220
  • Searching For Shape #NR2 - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets JO ROETS
    Searching For Shape #NR2
    Light Relief Sculpture / 22 x 27 cm
    $220
  • Searching For Shape #NR1 - Light Relief Sculpture by Jo Roets
    JO ROETS
    Searching For Shape #NR1
    Light Relief Sculpture / 22 x 27 cm