On 24 June 2023, StateoftheART hosted the opening reception of Joanna Lee Miller's debut solo exhibition 'Here I Find', featuring landscape paintings created on site around the Cape Peninsula. Joanna Lee Miller is a classically trained Cape Town-based landscape painter who creates her oil paintings en plein air – outdoors in nature.
At the opening of Here I Find on Saturday 24 June, all senses were embraced. Joanna designed the opening to recreate the experiences she has while painting outdoors and visitors were invited to visit the places where Joanna created her paintings – a map showing the locations are at the Gallery and available for download here.
View the interactive exhibition which includes images and videos of the paintings insitu and map links to visit the painting's location.
Beth Lowe giving the opening address.
Read the opening address by fellow plein air painter Beth Lowe below:
"Thank you Joanna for the privilege of inviting me to open your exhibition, I am honoured. Thank you to the StateoftheART Gallery for hosting such a beautiful exhibition.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
- John Muir
Plein Air as you all probably know, became popular with the Impressionists who noted the changing light and intense beauty around them. This notion of painting outdoors capturing a fleeting moment, a feeling of freedom and beauty and the light has had a resurgence in recent years - but it certainly is not for the faint hearted.
This practise consists of being out there, despite the circumstances: wind, bugs, sand and sometimes even rain. Then the unmentionable - dropping that newly painted artwork face down in the sand.
I recall recently painting with Joanna in Scarborough and she was painting a large canvas on two easels - she had her drape to shield the shine through the canvas and that was not all - she needed rocks! - yes rocks to weight the easel as the wind had picked up. I was asked to hold it all down and she frantically went in search of rocks and bags to keep her set-up stable so she could complete her painting.
Need I say more about her passion, her fortitude, tenacity, courage and perseverance?
This exhibition is testament to these qualities.
Joanna Lee Miller outside StateoftheART Gallery
Our meeting was also one of those resolute occasions and I am grateful to her for the IG message to come and meet me. What a joy to meet a kindred spirit who shares the passion to be out in nature doing what we love.
During that first meeting - not 10 or 20 minutes but a few hours we shared about life, colour, paint and our favourite subject and we knew we had found a painting buddy. Subsequently we found ourselves sending late night messages to meet at an appointed place early the next day.
Joanna too has an amazing story about turning her life about, moving from a corporate job abroad to following her heart and to going to Art School in Florence.
In closing I will share another quote by John Muir:
“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains. To behold this alone is worth the pains of any excursion a thousand times over.”
I declare this exhibition open!"
Jennifer Reynolds welcomes guests to StateoftheART for the Opening of 'Here I Find'.
View 'Here I Find' online in the interactive exhibition, or visit the Gallery to see it on show until 15 July 2023.