Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Whew....1 week to go before my exhibition!

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Title: Baobab 4

Size: 1500mmx1000mm (yes, it's BIG!)

I have a bit of a "thing" about Baobabs. To me they are so quintessentially African. And because I grew up in landlocked Zimbabwe, whenever we went on holidy, we would pass through a lowveld area where they grew, so I always associate Baobabs with fun, holidays, excitement and anticipation.

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Title: Farewell Vetkat
Size: 900mmx700mm

The San or Bushmen of Africa are a tribe who have been hounded to near extinction over the centuries. The remaining few mostly now live in the very beautiful but arid Kalahari desert.
They are best known for the wonderful rock art which they left in many caves across the country, as they moved on under pressure from other tribes. They are deeply spiritual and peaceful people, in tune with nature to an amazing degree (which explains how they are able to survive in an environment that very few humans or animals can endure.)
From this group, in recent years, emerged an artist who was fast gaining an international reputation for his work, combining traditional imagery with modern elements and materials. His name was Vetkat Regopstaan Kruper. (Literally translated it means Fat cat upright standing.)
Sadly, he died last moth at the age of only 38. He was laid to rest before sunrise, under his favourite tree in the Kalahari.
This painting is a tribute to him, featuring "his" tree and if you look closely, a fat cat spirit flying away from it.

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Title:Duncan Village, East London

Size: 1100mmx900mm

I have enjoyed painting clusters of houses around the world lately, and this is another in that series. It is much closer to home than the previous 2, and is a typical African Township which are a feature of most South African towns. To be PC, they are now referred to as "informal settlements", but many of them go back for many years and are well established communities. Despite the fact that life there is hard, the houses leak and are poorly insulated, and basic services like water, power and sewerage removal are often lacking, they always seem to appear bright and colourful, teeming with life and activity. To me they symbolise man's indomitable spirit in the face of adversity.

7 comments:

Sheila said...

I love these. I tried to spot the fat cat spirit but could not. I will keep trying..

Suzi-k said...

Yes it is small and hard to see on this tiny photo, it is the pale looking brances to the left under the tree, and is done in the style of traditional bushman art, but modified to blend with the rest of the picture.

Sheila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheila said...

Aha..!

Now I see it..!
Thanks for pointing it out. Now I will see it immediately from now on..!

Don Bell said...

Sue, your work has improved 100 fold since I last saw them and I am amazed at your abundant free style, vesatility, appreciation of colour mix and composition.
I can now name drop - I KNOW SUE HOPPE!

Angie Franke said...

Hey Sue!
I bought this wonderful painting from you and I LOVE it. I'm so lucky! and so glad to find your blog - while looking for a pic of St Augs on line for a ref for a design i have to do for someone making an altar cloth...it's a long story...
But a friend of mine has a teenage son (16) (and a regular oke - sportmad, fishing etc) who freaked out when he saw it and says he can't look at it as he's afraid of it! how's that?
I think it's a real compliment that it moves some one so young so much - and i told him Vetkat's story. There's a connection somewhere.
take care - and would love to join your plein air group some day if i ever get good enough. i need a serious kick up the bum to motivate me to paint enough - maybe when the kids move out one day. I dream of it in the meanwhile and thank you for your blog

Suzi-k said...

Hi Angie, nice to hear from you!I'm sure you would be welcome to join the group. Glad you are enjoying Vetkat, it was one of my favourites too. Sorry it freaks your friend's son out, I'd better not post my latest fat cat painting depicting Robert Mugabe, it would seriously traumatise him!!! All my rage and frustration over what he is doing to his people poured onto the canvas, it is pretty disturbing! I bought your latest book for my daughter, it is great and she loves it!