See more about the Gallery Award here.
Tell us about yourself. Where are you based and
where do you get your inspiration for your work?
am a 33 year old self-taught artist currently based in Simon’s Town. I have
worked in the hospitality industry for many years and have also worked
extensively as a costume fabricator in the film industry. During that time, I
concentrated on various crafts and worked along side many creative people from
all different walks of life. Over the past two years my focus has shifted
towards becoming a full-time artist. I began with illustrative work but after a
while I decided to move closer and deeper into oil painting. I am inspired to one day incorporate my craft
skills into my Fine Art Portraiture and excited to see how my art will evolve
in time, although it’s the vastness and beauty of nature and the grace and
complexity of people that ultimately inspires me. It is exactly this that I
would like to research and discover within my work. I feel a deep connection to the dynamic of the
working class in South Africa. I noticed many working class similarities when
working in England in previous years. The difference in the rights and treatment of
employees and people in general was something to consider and therefore my work
has always been about people and the uniqueness of each person’s life,
concentrating on their sorrows and joys. My message is that of “Sonder”. This
describes the realization that each passerby lives a life as vivid and complex
as your own.
Do you have any rituals or habits involving your
art-making that you can tell us about?
I start on a new Art Work, I have a need to clean out my studio space and make
sure all of the tedious housework is done so that I have a fresh start and
clear head to begin my contemplation in silence. There is a lot of research and
observing of my references that takes place before I even touch paint onto the
canvas. After my first rough sketch has been placed down onto the canvas,
I can put on some music and delve into the flow of my creativity. I take time
and consideration to mix my chosen colours. My painting can evolve tremendously
into something completely different from initial thought depending on how it
makes me feel and what I am trying to express.
Which new trends or South African artists do you
find inspiring at the moment?
be honest, I am more inspired by the message, subject matter and technical
skill found in the work of the older South African artists such as William
Kentridge, Irma Stern, and Jane Alexander, connecting me to feelings and
thoughts that were a part of my childhood and development of the person that I
am today. However, I am equally excited about the “trend” or ongoing
movement #supportblackart which you can view on Instagram. I am in awe of the
strength of people who have been discriminated against for hundreds of years
have found a voice through art and the absolute beauty and creativity coming
through these artworks are undeniably masterful, unique, and inspiring.
How is your work relevant in a South African
context? And globally?
South African woman, I am a part of a minority that has had to work hard to get
recognition, success or to simply survive this economic climate. Being a part
of this collective and living my whole life in South Africa already states how
my work will be full of the substance that is contextually South African.
My work consists largely of portraits of woman who come from South Africa or
are based here due to immigration or the African Diaspora. The fact that
I paint mainly woman, I touch on a subject of the Feminine Devine and Feminism
that can be globally recognized by all woman and men who can relate or
What do you think South African artists can
contribute to the global art market?
South Africa has very a unique history, reeling
from the effects of apartheid and the great mentors such as Nelson Mandella
that has helped create our Rainbow Nation as we know it today. I
believe we have a lot to offer the global art market with our mixed cultural
influences that can be effortlessly seen in the art of South Africans
What do you think of the
StateoftheART Gallery Award as a platform for emerging artists in South Africa?
is very exciting, encouraging and important for independent Galleries such as
the StateoftheArt Gallery to initiate such awards as a platform for emerging
artists, specifically because South Africa is a country where many artists have
not had the privilege of formal tertiary training in Universities or Art
How do you think selling art online and marketing
through social media is valuable?
The perogative of any visual artist is firstly the
need to get their story or message into a visual state, and secondly that these
artworks and messages are ultimately observed and contemplated by others.
Marketing through social media is very important for such artworks to be seen
and allows for the growth of collective thought. The great thing about
selling online is that anybody from around the world is able to purchase the
artwork of their desire. The fact that art is no longer limited to one view
point or residence or pay point has opened up the art market in a great way. In
addition the production of prints and selling online has also made art more
affordable and available to a wider market.
How do you feel about the upcoming
group exhibition and the other shortlisted finalists’ works?
I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the
upcoming group exhibition as it will be a great means of exposure for me and is
a unique opportunity to also meet other artists from similar backgrounds.
From what I have seen of the other shortlisted finalists’ works, I am truly in
awe and inspired. I am looking forward to meeting everyone and viewing
their artworks. For me, the fact that the finalists are all female artists, the
sense of sisterhood is strong.
Do you have any plans for the
I am planning to produce as many artworks as I am
capable of, focusing on my chosen themes and thoughts. I would like to get a
Professional Portfolio Website and Online shop set up and ready by next
year. I would like to experiment more with different mediums,
incorporating craft and thread work into my artwork. My ultimate goal
would be to have a solo exhibition within the year of 2019.
If you win the Gallery Award, tell us about what
you have in mind for your solo exhibition in 2019?
I have an idea I would like to explore which is
based on “Forgotten Treasures.” It describes the nostalgia of the simple toys
we used to play with as kids, such as the tiny green plastic toy soldiers, the
red view master, the yo yo, the slinky and the list can go on and on. My
vision is to create portraits of children interlinked with these simple toys
that were made in China or made in America, long before the invention or mass
production of computer games and ipads. Imagination as a whole has been
blunted or augmented by these hi-tech gimmicks that we can no longer live
without. I want to bring the preciousness of this imagination back into
the foreground of our consciousness. Forgotten treasures is ultimately about
our forgotten imagination.
As a self taught artist focusing on
illustration, Tina has begun painting in oils for the past seven months. Her
search for depth and tactile exploration, which is inspired by the masters, has
resulted in a serendipitous understanding and mastery of using oil paints as
her primary medium. Tina's work is a juxtaposition between the strange, other
worldly surrealism and figurative portraiture. Her message is that of
"Sonder". This describes the realisation that each passerby lives a
life as vivid and complex as your own. Everybody's story is unique and
important, more so when observed in an extra ordinary way. Unity in Diversity
is therefore the overriding theme in Tina's work. She wholeheartedly portrays
the outcasts of society with a sense of grace and beauty as her inspiration.