Tharien Smith

Tharien Smith

South Africa | 3 artworks for sale

A journey into a mystical, weightless world, this series of oil paintings refers to the strange innocence and beauty of a realm defined and upheld by the hypnotic qualities of water. In an ethereal sphere where the central character, Shani, seems to drift between child- and adulthood, dream and reality, light and dark, existential boundaries are both purified and dissolved.
Tharien graduated with a National Textile Diploma from TUT in 1995. She has spent most of her career working in various creative corporate environments, designing everything from furnishing fabrics to fashion, graphics and ceramic tiles. The artist resides in Cape Town combining skills to create beautiful artworks spanning across multiple mediums.

1992 – 1995 - National Textile Design Diploma –Tshwane University of Pretoria
1996 - TUT Photography & Fine Arts Course - Tshwane University of Pretoria – TUT
1996 - Calder School of Interior Design Certificate
1997 - SBDC/KSOK Certificate

AWARDS: 1992 – 1995 - Winner and runner up of several Show Case Competitions : Pretoria Botanical Gardens, Johnsons Ceramics International, Tiakeni Textiles in Swaziland & TUT PROFESSIONAL
Finalist  - Tondo, Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Barrel Head Exhibition. Hermanus FynArts  June 2017

1991 - 1995
Group exhibitions of Textiles & Fine Arts at Tshwane University Of Technology, Pretoria and Pietersburg

Solo exhibition 'Indians vs Nature' at Gallery On The Corner, Midrand, Johannesburg

'Flow' at 196 Victoria Road, Woodstock Cape Town

'Vuleka' at Association of Bellvile, ArtB Gallery
'Tiny Treasures' at Arts Association of Bellvile, ArtB Gallery

Part of "The Creative Block" a Spier and Nandos initiative.
Exhibited at the AVA Gallery for the PPC Competition regionals in February 2018

Youngblood Arts and Culture Trust - work on show Nov- Dec
'Meditive Moments' @ Gallery One11 in Loop Street in November - December
'Under The Sea' @ Gallery One11 in Loop Street in December - January
Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
William Kentridge and Judith Mason are my favourite South African artists. I love Porky Hefer, his work is whimsical and magical. BTW, South Africa is trending! Love it! I have always been fascinated with textiles and outrageous fashion designers like Alexander McQueen and Alberta Ferretti. Japanese artist Mariko Kusumoto is hugely inspiring and trend setting.

Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
Pierneef. Most of his landscapes were of the Highveld, which provided a lifelong source of inspiration for him.  Pierneef's style was to reduce and simplify the landscape to geometric structures, using flat planes, lines and colour to present the harmony and order in nature. This resulted in a formalised, ordered and often monumental view of the South African landscape, uninhabited and with dramatic light and colour.

Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?
Throughout all my travels, I always try to visit museums and galleries. The most profound was The Uffizi Gallery in Tuscany, Italy. The magnitude and size of the museum and artworks are incredible and boasts exceptional collections of paintings and ancient sculptures. Among the paintings dating back to the 14th century and Renaissance period, plenty of masterpieces by Giotto, Simone Martini, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo and Caravaggio had great impact. I have great respect for the old Renaissance masters, their skill, time and devotion is admirable. I also find the street graffiti of various European countries & SA very beautiful, colourful and charming. PS. Seeing Mona Lisa at The Louvre in real life was very disappointing!

Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
Life, love, colour, nature and music.

Do you have any rituals or habits involving your art-making that you can tell us about?
I can not paint without music. For an outsider my workspace will look extremely messy and dis-organized, but I know exactly where to find that one tiny special paint brush…

What do you like most about being an artist?
For me being creative is a blessing and am passionate and grateful for it. I like to explore, experiment with and challenge myself.

How do you handle bad days when you experience artist's block?
I don’t know what is worse, frustration or artist’s block? Because they go hand in hand. I always tell myself not to get despondent, it will pass. Getting out and about, going for walks in the mountain or even in a busy market full of people and food - all remedies. Eventually you will have an epiphany…

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
It is always very liberating to see some of your previous ceramic tile and textile designs in the market at random places. Least expected.

Do you feel that you want to make a difference to the world or in people's lives? If yes, how?
Yes! I would love to be the one responsible for world peace… but alas. But seriously. Yes, hopefully by the end of 2016 I would have achieved my goal and be very close in launching my own fabric range. If all goes according to plan I will have to train and employ a helper or two. My aim is for this sidekick to grow bigger and to involve more people from the community. Also, I love dogs! I wish I could adopt thousands!

What are your plans for the coming year?
Achieve my goals, travel, grow and enjoy life! Paint every day and become famous!
PS. I’m waiting for my artists block to disappear so that I can launch my fabric range early 2017!