Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
I'm still exploring this plethora of wonderful South African artists
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
'The Return of the Prodigal Son' by Rembrandt
How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I never considered the word 'Artist' when I was growing up. I was, however, always making things and sharing them with my family. I have always been sensitive and receptive to my surroundings and finding ways to translate that observed and felt a sense, I think it has a lot to do with growing up in a surfing community where I often tried to describe what the surf was like to my parents and friends. So, I guess in a way I was gravitating to continuing just that - sharing what I've experienced through my craft.
What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
My work looks at firstly my own relationship with the world through the lens of Landscape Drawing and Painting. I explore the cycles of our natural weather systems including an accelerating climate and an altered landscape through our history as a species on this planet. The core theme in my work is the diminishing line between the natural world and our species resulting in a more symbiotic relationship with the natural world.
What inspired your latest body of work?
'The Fire Next Time' my recent collection was brought about when I returned to Cape Town in 2018 after 10 years abroad. While on the airplane from London I met a property investor explaining to me that he has to return to Cape Town to sort out a borehole due to the lack of water. I then encountered a landscape altered by wildfires. These were the jumping off points to my recent collection.
Tell us more about your creative process.
My process is simple, really. I draw daily and I make time for Five phases to occur, I'll surmise. (1)ON THE ROAD: a period of looking and presence, this can take place while surfing, running in the mountains or walking with a loved one or watering my plants – It's physical & sensory. (2) THE PALACE: I look at this as subconsciously moving parts that are being organized without me consciously interfering. (3) NURTURE: This is exploring the rooms of the 'Palace' the experiences, visuals, and emotions, then drawing or painting them out through various mediums. (4) THE RIVER: Deciding which series the new drawing/painting sketch could be further explored - Technically or conceptually or will it be a standalone composition or something I'll re-visit later for a potential new collection. (5) THE WATERFALL: Committing to the final composition which has its own process.
What drives you as an artist?
Nourishing my relationship between craft and the natural world. Sharing my discoveries which in turn I hope will stimulate further research and dialogue for the collectors of my work. The idea that one can be his/her own archeologist and through a systematic process of discovery returns with artifacts for consideration.
Do you have a favorite or most meaningful work?
I don't, all the work I've made continue to hold a special place.
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
Drawing has always been an integral part of my artistic structure and at the beginning of 2015, I began a body of work titled Mare Incognitum. It was presented in the form of a solo exhibition in Brighton, UK. The show was accompanied by an originally composed album titled Seascapes by James Fiddes Smith. I would say this is my greatest artistic accomplishment.
What are your aspirations for the future?
In terms of my practice, I'd like to further the development of my current teaching program – A contemporary land & Sea Atelier with the focus of assisting students on the development of their craft – drawing and painting. In terms of the more immediate, however, it's to continue the collaboration with nature and the further development each of my collections.