Friday, 30 November 2012

more pix to savour at the forthcoming Facing the Future exhibition

As promised in the previous post, here are more little nibbles of forthcoming delicacies...
by the way note some have a 'spot the deliberate mistake', the opening is on 6th December at 6.30pm

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Facing the Future:Portraits for Africa

It is a great privilege to be included amongst the august list of 55 artists who are participating in this exhibition of 550 works at Liebrecht Gallery in Somerset West. Some friends and I will be going down for the opening and I'll post pix as soon as I can... I have seen some exceptional work in the sneak previews... if you are anywhere near the Western Cape in the next 2 months this one is really worth a visit.

Works are all 180x180mm on board and will sell for the same price of R1001.

Participating artists are:
Ambrose, Katharine
Badenhorst, Philip
Bakker, Martin
Barlow, Andrew
Bateman, Tom
Bestbier, Carien
Bester, Kareni
Beyers, Heidi
Bodenstein-Booyens, Anita
Bothma, Alida
Briers, Salome
Bruce, Bronwyn
Coetzee, Jaco
Coetzee, Maritha
Du Plooy, Bert
Frier, Gary
Gaybba, Wendy
Gendall, Glenda
Goosen, Esme
Goussard, Jani
Greyling, Mien
Harmer, Kathryn
Harris, Anthony
Hoppe, Sue
Kruger-Grundlingh, Susan
Lemmer, Deon
Louw, Marina
Marais, Eugenie
Maritz, Marius
Matthews, Sharle
Menck, Clare
Meyer, Liza
Miller-Vermeulen, Elizabeth
Moolman, Bretten-Anne
Nightingale, Rita
Pentz, Jan
Poole, Tanya
Pretorius, Mariette
Rafi, Mike
Sampson, Sharon
Schraader, Elaine
Sinclair, Kennett
Smook, Solly
Schoeman, Marna
Stroud, Zelda
Swart, Hazel
Vale Xenos, Helen
Van Biljon, Karel
Van Coller-Louw, Paula
Van der Walt, Louis Stroh
Van der Walt, Lize
Van der Westhuizen, Anne-Marie
Van Zyl, Frieda
Venter, Alet
Watkins, Miche

Another thing that has made participating in this exhibition so enjoyable has been the fun attitude of the Gallerist, Avril Gardiner, who has kept us informed and on our toes with some very entertaining newsletters throughout the process. Professionalism blended with fun..... now that's my kind of art encounter! Watch this space, I'll share more sneak previews of the work by various artists as it arrives!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Art cards

I have had quality art cards printed, blank inside (the sort of card that is only matt coated on the outside, so still easy to write on inside without the ink smudging.)

There is a wide variety, some older works, some more recent, paintings and photos, a variety of sizes, individually wrapped with envelopes, but can be packed in mixed batches of 5 or 10 if needed. If you are interested, you can e-mail me on sue at elgecko dot co dot za for details.

Tuesday, 02 October 2012

Thursday, 27 September 2012

lifeblood 3

lifeblood 3 300x300mm  oil and charcoal on canvas
the idea behind calling the paintings/photos/drawings of cattle"lifeblood" is that the name will hopefully get the thoughtful viewer to look beyond the basic image of a cow... whose blood are we thinking about, the cow's?... how does the cow live in order to give up its blood and become steak? or, does it keep its life, as in Kenya, and give blood and milk in order to provide "lifeblood' for humans to survive too? The relationship between humans and cattle varies so much from society to society... ranging from pure commodity to god, from optional to essential, and all shades inbetween. So every individual connects with an image like this differently, depending on their cultural background, and suddenly it is no longer just 'a picture of a cow'.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Preview of forthcoming attractions

I am embarking on a new series of works. It began with the simple idea of combining horns and thorns, ie cattle with large horns and those wonderful large paired thorns you find on Acacia Karoo trees, which bear a striking resemblance to each other. It quickly morphed (as these things tend to do) into a series of ideas around the thought of protecting what one holds valuable, and the fact that those items are relative depending on who you are.

If you are a Dinka Tribesman, your cattle are literally your life, of the greatest possible value, and due to cattle fueds and raids, it is no longer enough to protect them in kraals of thorns. In Southern Sudan, Uganda and Kenya, cattle wars have led to the death of literally thousands, and herdsmen protect their cattle with AK 47s. By contrast, in 1st world countries, we see cattle as just another food commodity, and can take a more flippant approach to depicting them. Our valued possessions often revolve around our fixed property, and we protect it with razor wire and alarm systems.

In a society where respect for women and life is being constantly eroded, there is also a need to protect ourselves. So the range of images emerging is already quite wide, and I will be combining painting, drawing, photography, and ceramics. WATCH THIS SPACE! :)

cow in kraal, photography and charcoal drawing on canvas, 1600x1600mm

Thursday, 09 August 2012

still catching up....

As I look through recent posts, I see that I have lost track a bit when it comes to posting photos of all my works. I get so involved in the process of making them, and then things like the festival etc, that it is easy to let some fall through the cracks, but since this blog will ultimately form a (hopefully) fairly complete record of my work, I might as well have a go at filling the gaps. So here, in no particular order, medium etc are some recent works which have so far eluded this blog.

emerging from the shadows 6a 450x450mm

emerging from the shadows 6b 450x450mm

emerging from the shadows 9a 300x300mm

emerging from the shadows 9b 300x300mm

emerging from the shadows 9c 300x300mm

emerging from the shadows 9d 300x300mm

emerging from the shadows 10 600x500mm

shelter 2 1100x900mm

standing out from the crowd a 300x600mm

standing out from the crowd b 300x600mm (SOLD)

Street in Richmond hill 200x200mm

tribute to Turner 300x400mm (SOLD)

Urban decay 200x250mm

urban decay 2 300x400mm

the guests 1100x900mm
Baobab 2.... 4 colour linocut edition of 12
paperbark grove ... 3 colour linocut, edition of 12

side street Istanbul charcoal on Fabriano

relevance 3 burnt sienna pastel on fabriano

Wednesday, 08 August 2012

Reflecting recent weather conditions

Port Elizabeth has had the second wettest winter in recorded history this year, in addition to unusually cold weather, 3 floods in the last few weeks, and days without water due to 2 broken major supply pipelines. I breezed into my studio with the intention of doing a few abstract canvases with very little content, but hopefully lots of atmosphere. I guess it should come as no surprise, since I have often found my abstact paintings to be surprisingly revealing of things I am feeling, even though I was not particularly conscious of it at the time, that they should reflect the current wet wintry mood.

Rainy Day 900x1100mm (SOLD)

Passing View 900x1100mm.
This painting must come from the feeling I seem to have more and more frequently that I would love to just climb in the car and hit the road, enjoying the changing views flashing past the driver's window! Again, in this case, a wintry wet view.

Monday, 16 July 2012

alone:together in PE

for those who were not able to see our exhibition at the Grahamstown Festival, it has moved to PE for the next month or so.

Thursday, 05 July 2012

Grahamstown Festival 2012

After visiting the Arts festival as a day tripper for many years, popping in to exhibitions, sampling all the creative output on show, attending one or two jazz gigs and walking the streets soaking up the festival vibe along the way, I thought I had a pretty good idea what it was all about.

This year I am here as an exhibitor, not exactly for the first time (back in the days when I was a studio potter and festival was smaller and less organised, I used to pop up for a day and sit on grass in front of the Cathedral, selling my pottery.) But this is certainly the first time as a full on exhibitor in a formal venue for the duration of the festival. And I am loving it.

What is making it so great is the sharing. I think it must take a special kind of stamina and determination to come here, set up a show and man it alone from 9-5 day after day, without an opportunity to see other exhibitions, chat to other artists or get a bigger picture of the National art scene as it is concentrated here for these 10 or 11 odd days each year.

So, many exhibitors choose to have joint exhibitions, and it really does add an element of fun and camaraderie to the whole experience. I am exhibiting with 2 friends, Jimmy Ndlovu and Ayanda Mji, and we are having a great time alternating between interacting with visitors to our space when it is busy and each other when it isn't.

the 3 musketeers

 When things are quiet and one or other of us can handle the venue alone, we take turns to check out the festival, seeing other exhibitions, attending shows etc. The down side of this is that it is terribly easy to spend way too much on other peoples art, shows, food etc. But experiencing festival over the full time span in bite sized chunks, rather than trying to cram it all into a manic day trip really is such a good opportunity to feed one's creative spirit at the same time as giving out to those around through all the interacting about one's work.

Even though the build up to festival is exhausting in itself, producing, transporting and hanging a whole body of work, along with all the peripheral admin of pricing, labeling, recording etc, the creative energy concentrated here carries one along, so that the days of sitting and selling and the nights of going to shows don't seem nearly as daunting as I had anticipated.

being able to take in some great shows is a bonus, here Afrika Mkhize leads a fabulous jazz gig.

Afrika khize giving it stick...

There is also great camaraderie between the other artists in the venues, and as a first timer, I have really appreciated the openness and generosity of the veterans in sharing insights, advice and practical help. In the Carinus Annex where we are exhibiting, it really is one big diverse happy family and we are loving being part of it.

Anne-Mari Burger pops in to chat, she is one of the very generous and helpful veterans who has gone out of their way to make us feel at home in the venue.

From an exhibitors point of view, we are in a smallish venue, so we quickly abandoned any thoughts of well spaced work having breathing space in a white cube environment... all 3 of us have colourful powerful large scale work that demands attention,  and it is crammed cheek by jowl on every surface that will support it. Along with the happy friendship, debates, afro jazz playing in the background and ever brewing pots of coffee, many visitors have commented an the warm and inviting atmosphere that has drawn them in. It is such a different experience, when one is used to seeing one's work carefully and tastefully hung in a quiet and respectful gallery environment, and I am loving it.

Jimmy and I at the opening of the Arena Exhibition, enjoying the view of the town's lights below the monument where the show is being held

Jimmy and I painting between batches of visitors to the show

I think, for me, one of the highlights I will take back with me is the opportunity this has provided to interact with people as they interact with my art. Usually one works away in the studio, and then the works are sent off to various galleries and exhibitions, to be sold there. Or they go onto the online gallery and get sent off to some far flung country, but as an artist one is seldom exposed to public reaction or feedback to one's work. However, in this environmemt, people walk in and react, engage (or dismiss and walk on) in a very honest way, and it is really rewarding seeing a piece speak to someone, often in unexpected ways, and they sometimes see way more in it than I intended at the time, because they bring their own life history into the viewing experience. It is both humbling and enriching when something one has created speaks strongly to the heart of another individual.
packing goods that have been sold, Ayanda holds the packet while her sister Lungi organises the cash book

another huge bonus for me has been making friends with the family I am staying with, i have seldom met anyone who is so generous and accomodating to a stranger.... this is their stunning and peaceful garden.

So far this has been a very positive experience and we hope to be back next year.