My artist statement changes often, and each exhibition or body of work has its own motivation, inspiration and subsequently artist statement. This serves as overall description of my philosophy, approaches and inspiration, but please contact me for a more specific or current statement.
My work is primarily inspired by a reverence for plants, ecology and our integrated nature as part of the planet. It started when I was a child, playing on my grandfather’s farm in the Northern Cape, a growing awareness of the terrible air pollution in my home town in the Vaal Triangle, and in my fourth year of studies I focused on ‘green graphic design’. After this, it was inevitable that I would draw and paint from and of spaces that’s been relatively untouched by human activities and industry. The land is my favourite place, theme and source point. I also draw inspiration from personal experiences, daily life and spirituality.
A lot of my previous work and projects explored the landscape in its different forms and contexts – predominantly focusing on human interaction or relationship with it, with metamorphosis and a focus on us as an organism a dominant theme in my recent work. Journeys are also an underlying theme in my work, due to my own travels through landscapes (and thus my own personal relationship with the sites I visit), and this theme is evident in my Nuances series – a series of limited edition landscape prints, printed on Somerset Velvet or Hahnemuhle.
Through exploring and supporting nature conservation and awareness about environmental issues in my work or professional life for the past few years, I have come to believe that the core of our problems is not the system itself. It is not society, the government or our cities. The core of the problem is the individuals that make up our society and build the inefficient and destructive systems, and individuals who see themselves as disconnected beings, as separate from “nature”, rather than a thread in the web of life. I believe that through personal healing, we can build and support a life of harmony and respect for our planet, plant kingdom, animals and each other. I love things that symbolise, express or honour the rhythms, seasons and cycles of nature. I believe that energy connects us within space and time to each other, the planet and everything in, on and around it. I believe art can facilitate healing, strengthen these energy connections and inspire the expression of the creativity inherent in everyone.
“My art is grounded on the belief in one universal energy which runs though everything, from insect to man, from man to spectre, from spectre to plant, from plant to galaxy.” – Ana Mendieta, from an artist’s statement in the early 1980s
I find peace and fulfilment in the creative process, especially when experimenting and combining different mediums – whether I’m taking photographs, drawing or working with wood. My methods often include mixed media, digital and photographic media, assemblage or largely drawing-based compositions of landscapes and animals. My favourite traditional materials are ink, charcoal and watercolour – each with its own unique character and response. My work also largely relates to time spent onsite in the land – creating site-specific work, ephemeral land art works, and other contemporary and interactive practices.