Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Land Art in Arderne's Garden, Claremont

I am part of a group of artists who meet  in a different place once every month to create site-specific temporary art installations with the materials we find around us. Here's what I created during the August gathering. Want to know more about the gatherings? Read more...

Friday, August 15, 2014

Kingdom Exhibition

On Wednesday I decided to have a look at the Kingdom exhibition at Equus Gallery, on my way back from a meeting in Stellenbosch. The Gallery is situated on the beautiful Cavalli Estate, on the R44 between Syellenbosch and Somerset West. 

I am incredibly glad I went. Not only am I extremely impressed with the artworks exhibited, but I was also blown away by the architecture, the landscaping that utilizes indigenous plants, and the vertical garden outside the gallery. The galllery space is also striking - clean, large open spaces, and a skylight that covers almost the entire ceiling, helping to create an ambience and soft light that compliments the artworks. 

The exhibition on view at the moment, entitled "Kingdom", is a curated collection of artworks inspired by, or representing, the natural kingdom.  Here's a selection of some of my favourite works from the exhibition.

Specimen Three, Rebecca Jones, Paper, wire and thread
Aloes TwoRebecca Jones, Paper and wire 
Towerland, Matthew Hindley, 2014, Oil on canvas, 2 x 2.5 m.

Sunset, Paula van Coller Louw, 2014, Oil on cavnas, 150 x 180cm.
Green Apple, Willie Botha, Fibreglass, 600mm diameter.
Let the Swallows Go, Jaco Sieberhagen, Lasered mild steel and paint, 63.5 x 35 x 13.5cm.
Meeting the Sun, Paula van Coller Louw, 2014, Oil on canvas, 180 x 240 cm.
The Kingdom Come (In me) I, II, III, Victoria du Toit, 2014, Watercolour on Arches paper.
detail from The Kingdom Come (In me) IIVictoria du Toit, 2014, Watercolour on Arches paper.
detail from The Kingdom Come (In me) IIIVictoria du Toit, 2014, Watercolour on Arches paper.
detail from The Kingdom Come (In me) IIVictoria du Toit, 2014, Watercolour on Arches paper.
detail from Rose, Victoria du Toit, 2013, Watercolour on Arches paper.
Saad (Seed)Hanien Conradie, 2012, Oil on canvas, 120 x 120 cm.
Melk (Milk) & Saad (Seed), Hanien Conradie, 2012, Oil on canvas, 120 x 120 cm
Will Buy you Time, Nigel Mullins, 2011, Oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm.
Memory Vein, Robin Brown, Innova pigment print 280 gsm, Limited edition of 10.
Bow to Bee, Robin Brown, Innova pigment print 280 gsm, Limited edition of 10.
On a Wing and a Prayer, Robin Brown, Innova pigment print 280 gsm, Limited edition of 10.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Fear & Loss - Industrial Karoo

If you're in the area, please support and attend this incredible exhibition curated by Katie Barnard du Toit. I am participating, exhibiting an artwork entitled "Bone Country", which will only be available for view on my website after the opening of the exhibition.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sketch Challenge: day 9 & 10

Day 9

Favourite TV Show

Day 10

Favourite Candy
I stay away from processed foods as much as possible. After I weaned myself off processed sugar, fruit is sweet enough to satisfy my 'sweet tooth', and now my favourite candy is dates! The Nãkd bar that I sketched on day 3, is also made from dates as main ingredient!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sketch Challenge: day 5 - day 8

Day 5

I love all my friends very dearly, and I am also one of the lucky people who married a best friend, but I had to draw a friend who has grown into a sister to me:

Day 6

Favourite book character - Nana, the matriarch from Lawrence Anthony's 'Elephant Whisperer'. 

Day 7

Konstellasie | Constellation

Day 8

Favourite animated character - Garfield!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

30-day drawing challenge: Day 1

I'm participating in another drawing challenge, and this time I'm sticking it to the end! With my dear artist friends Mark Shaun Hopkins and Elaine Kotze, we're doing this challenge, which I found on Pinterest and traced back to here and here (I don't know who the original creator of the challenge is, but she/he is wonderful!): 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Reflections on art and being

I have been procrastinating a bit from getting busy in the studio again after my first solo exhibition. I have been working on some new work, which includes some very nice commissions, but I feel like I'm in a slight lull of creating - not in a phase where I can create a 'masterpiece'. So now it feels like I'm about to burst out of the lull again, but first want to grab this opportunity to reflect or report on everything that I've been feeling and thinking the past few weeks. The time following the opening of my exhibition turned out to be a time for introspection and planning 'what comes next'. Interestingly, although everything went really well and I am proud of what I achieved with the exhibition, I also feel a bit let down by myself. Knowing that I could have done so much more and so much better. This is not an overly active inner critic, don't worry, but rather a need or ambition to something that really has value to people. I have no doubt that my artworks, the writing in my catalogue, or my performance piece had an impact on each person who experienced it. Even if it is just an infinitely small impression that I have managed to make in how they think and feel about nature and 'wildness'.

Rather, I'm wondering what type of project or body of work I should create next, and how to make it more valuable to people - whether a specific community or any individual who interacts with the art. I have considered, and decided against, putting the work into a human-based creation such as a Green Artist Collective again, like the GYA initiative that I attempted to grow, and the short-lived Scapes Project. But the organizing tasks and mobilising efforts involved with such an endeavour is not for the faint-hearted, the very arty-and-disorganized or the overly-introspective (periodically asking myself why I am doing everything I'm doing, and expecting answers not excuses). I have also noticed that I'm not great with delegating tasks, nor am I good at leading, satisfying or managing an intern.

Which leads me to be quite content with putting energy into the monthly Land Art gatherings we're running in the Western Cape (facebook.com/capelandart or subsribe to bit.ly/capelandart to receive updates about the dates and venues), associated with Site_Specific, in which we're creating a platform for artists to create in the landscape as part of a small but supportive art community, from which bigger projects can grow organically or spontaneously.

Leaving me enough time to create... some more video art, mixed media artworks, functional art, Nuances-works, experimental work, sculptural work (something I'm being pulled into by some inexplicable force or interest) and more performance-based work or installations. I'm very interested in the link between how we see and treat ourselves and the women of our society, and how we treat the natural ecosystems that nurture and sustain us. Ecofeminism is being recognized as a movement or discourse within our dialogues about people & nature, and I think art is a powerful way to continue or contribute to the conversation.

As part of my work in this line of thinking, I'm tempted to go on a tangent, run into the mountain and go totally self-indulgent and self-nurturing, focusing on my own healing (we all need healing, the planet's distress is mimicking the illness within our own bodies and minds, or the disconnection that we seem to manifest for ourselves between our mind, body and spirit/soul) and just finding a space to BE - without needing to express anything creatively or verbally or in text. But then I wouldn't be true to me. Or my purpose. Which, after doing an exercise in an article by Astrid Baumgardner, reads something like this:

My purpose is to use my ow exploration of nature, and focused creative expression of my findings, in a way that makes people see the beauty in everything around them and also within themselves, so we can together create a world of people who are content, happy, balanced and compassionate, because I do not believe and cannot accept that we are meant to be unhappy, abusive, abused, cruel or destructive to ourselves, others or our planet.

So, in a nutshell, my best way of being is to focus on my artmaking - in whatever form it takes - and create with the intention of focusing people's attention to the beauty and wonder that's around them and within their own minds and hearts.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Tokai Forest Land Art

This land art was created during the June gathering for the monthly Cape Land Art sessions