Tanja Truscott was born in the Netherlands but currently lives and works in Cape Town, based at SideTrack Studios in Salt River.
Her 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. 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. Her work is represented in private collections both locally and abroad.
Tanja's latest series of paintings "In A Time Of Uncertainty" have a common thread of mountains and water - and are currently on show in our annual Summer Salon exhibition.
'Fujisan #1' from the series is also concurrently on exhibition at the Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town as part of 'Home Is Where The Art Is' until 21 January 2021. This series of paintings was created out of the doubt and dilemmas of lockdown in South Africa due to the Covid-19 pandemic and we are thrilled to share some behind the scenes of the artist's studio and thought process while creating the works.
Browse all of Tanja's paintings available for sale here.
Words from Tanja Truscott about this body of work:
'A Time of Uncertainty'
It's a challenge to paint without an outcome in mind. I am used to taking my cues from somewhere. To reinterpret and rearrange them within the canvas: be it lines, shapes, sounds, memories or colours. So I am very excited to have a series of paintings where I let the subject matter itself emerge. It is a very open-ended and challenging process to stay with what is happening on the canvas, to simply respond to what is there and to not go ahead and impose an idea onto it.
Only with Fujisan and Breach did I really manage this process. With these two canvases I felt I had come to completion without any idea what it could represent. Only after I had spent time with each painting, did the red shape suggest a mountain that reminded me of Mt Fuji with the everpresent sea below, and in the case of Breach - of a dam wall overflowing with water. Research into Japanese Okiyo-e woodcuts and in particular the 36 views of Mt Fuji by Hokusai, led me directly into The Great Wave.
In the case of Lost at Sea, it was the red shapes and the net-like lines I drew over them that suggested the horrifying thought of being 'lost at sea'. Whereas in Iceberg Melting the shapes and hot colours both in the sky and water suggested the subject matter quite early on.
The 5 paintings relate to each other in palette, but also in the reoccurring motifs of water and mountain, change and stability. During this time of uncertainty while we grapple with a pandemic, the largely unheeded ecological and political shifts continue to cause mass migration, global warming, melting ice, wildfires and excessive rainfall.