South African visual artist Tanja Truscott

Tanja Truscott

Cape Town | 5 artworks for sale

  • Backyard - Painting by Tanja Truscott Backyard
    Painting / 90 x 110 cm
    R28 500
  • Overpass - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Painting / 42 x 60 cm
    R9 400
  • Aswan - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Painting / 42 x 60 cm
    R9 400
  • Reflections - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Painting / 42 x 60 cm
    R9 400
  • Assemblage - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Painting / 42 x 60 cm
    R9 400
  • Swartland #11 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Swartland #11
    Painting / 110 x 90 cm
  • Greek Idyll - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Greek Idyll
    Painting / 35 x 54 cm
  • Stormy Weather - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Stormy Weather
    Painting / 90 x 112 cm
  • Regrowth #4 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Regrowth #4
    Painting / 53 x 58 cm
  • Regrowth #3 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Regrowth #3
    Painting / 62 x 53 cm
  • Armed #1 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Armed #1
    Painting / 42 x 60 cm
  • Anxiety #1 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Anxiety #1
    Painting / 42 x 60 cm
  • Hope #1 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Hope #1
    Painting / 42 x 60 cm
  • Breach - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Painting / 90 x 112 cm
  • Traces #1 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Traces #1
    Painting / 64 x 90 cm
  • Traces #3 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Traces #3
    Painting / 73 x 99 cm
  • Traces #2 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Traces #2
    Painting / 73 x 99 cm
  • Secret Garden #5 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Secret Garden #5
    Painting / 48 x 48 cm
  • Boulders #3 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Boulders #3
    Painting / 32 x 40 cm
  • Autumn #1 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Autumn #1
    Painting / 90 x 112 cm
  • Japhtas’ Garden #7  - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Japhtas’ Garden #7
    Painting / 90 x 112 cm
  • Secret Garden #4 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Secret Garden #4
    Painting / 48 x 48 cm
  • Field #1 - Painting by Tanja Truscott
    Field #1
    Painting / 40 x 32 cm
Tanja Truscott’s artwork is born from a fascination with painterly abstraction and the power it has to engage us visually and emotionally. She works intuitively and is inspired by sounds and sensations from the outdoors ... or just as easily by literature, poetry and music. Any of these can be the impetus for the colours and tools she chooses, the marks made and the shapes that emerge. Truscott enjoys layering and as the layers of paint build up, they simultaneously reveal and hide what is underneath – some things are covered up yet visible.
BA Graphic Design, HDE in Art, University of Cape Town

Born in the Netherlands but living and working in Cape Town (South Africa), Truscott received a BA in Graphic Design from the University of Stellenbosch in 1984 and a Diploma in Secondary Teaching in 1990 from the University of Cape Town. She has taught art and after many years spent in educational publishing as an illustrator, graphic designer and art director, she turned to painting full time in 2015. Truscott’s most recent group exhibitions in Cape Town (2019) include New Light at No 5 on Hudson and Nano 1.3 at the Barnard Gallery. Her work is represented in private collections both locally and abroad.

Selected Exhibitions:

Group Exhibition: The Shipping Forecast at StateoftheART Gallery, Cape Town
Group Exhibition: Abstract*d at StateoftheART, Cape Town (curator)
Group Exhibition: Genius Loci at StateoftheART, Cape Town
Group Exhibition: SHE at RK Contemporary. Riebeek Kasteel
Group Exhibition: Home Is Where The Art Is at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town
Group Exhibition: NEW BLOOD at Candice Berman Gallery, Johannesburg
Group Exhibition: NANO 1.3 at Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
Group Exhibition: WORKS ON PAPER at RK Contemporary, Riebeek Kasteel
Group Exhibition: BOTANICA at Art b, Cape Town
Group Exhibition: SECRET GARDEN at Art-on-Avenues, Somerset West

Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
Perhaps not a new trend, but abstract expression has recently become more visible in South African galleries. I find it encouraging that there is a market out there for artists such as Emma Aspeling, Jeanne Hoffman, Mary Visser, Lucy Jane Turpin, Penelope Stutterheim, Jill Trappler and Gabrielle Kruger. All women!

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
It would probably be a large painting by Rothko.

How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
I have always been interested in visual communication. Initially through illustration and graphic design, but more recently in a more personal way, through drawing and painting. There is so much we can learn from artists as they interpret the world in so many different ways.

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

I am drawn to landscapes in the widest sense. I explore my response to a particular physical environment, but sometimes work directly to an idea, or music or a few lines of poetry that intrigue me.

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
At the beginning this painting looked very different to this! It has probably undergone many transformations. This makes the whole creative process so exciting; the fact that I have no idea what the painting will look like when I start!
Tell us more about your creative process.
I explore ideas in notebooks, through various media such as collage, ink or gouache, either within a landscape, or to music or poetry. Once I feel ready I work intuitively and mostly from memory.
I start off loosely and expressively and then I let the painting take me.
Sometimes I have no theme in mind and work purely with shapes, lines and textures, building the final artwork up through many layers.

What drives you as an artist?
My curiosity. And the idea there is so much to explore.

Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
My latest work is usually my favourite work! There is always a sense of excitement as I push into new territory and find closure; when I know the painting is ready to go into the world and hold its own.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
To have exhibited alongside local, up and coming (and established) artists. There is so much exciting young talent in South Africa.

What are your aspirations for the future?
Paint bigger, be bolder.


Learn more about Tanja and see behind the scenes in her studio in our artist feature here