Which new trends or South African artists do you find inspiring at the moment?
I love the colour, loose brushstrokes and boldness of the work of Mary Visser, Cathy Layzell and Jenny Parsons.
Which South African deceased artist do you most admire and why?
I love the work of Johan Pierneef. He had a wonderfully fresh approach to and perception of natural form. His sensitivity and consideration of structure inspires me.
If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Gustav Klimt’s ‘Maiden’.
How did you get started? Did you always want to be an artist?
As a small child, I always had a strong resonance with art and creativity in all of it’s forms. My path was always clear.
What are some of the key themes you explore in your work?
My painting explores natural form. Although it stems from the strength and potency of plant forms, it challenges the notion of what is Botanical Art. My focus is on form.
The Yoga discipline has been a significant part of my life for over 20 years. Bodies (the basis of yoga) are organic, and so are plants and nature. Both deal with structure and balance. Each artwork taps into the coexistence and interdependence of nature’s male and female forces. Each yoga posture relies on the inter-relationship of nature’s contrasting forces. In the same way, each plant is rooted within a perfectly balanced structure. My painting celebrates these male and female counterparts that both oppose and harmonize with one another.
What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
I paint ‘nothing’. In my most recent work, I present a magnified perspective of very random chunks of plant matter. I reframe the vital structures in their own right: ‘micro-landscapes’. By zoning in, I expose the unnoticed spaces surrounding the flowers: the non-subject.
Tell us more about your creative process.
I am always engaging with the natural environment, documenting the unexpected objects that hold my curiosity with my camera. I experience an almost overwhelming need to capture.
Through my more recent exploration of collage, my image making becomes further abstracting. These slightly uncomfortable combinations of reconstructed landscapes jump the register. Cropping, isolating and reassembling redefine the subject.
Do you believe an artist should use their platform to influence society? Why?
Artists play a significant role in society in that, through their creative process, they share their views and experiences. These views are often honest and refreshing takes on society and the world around us. I believe that the artist’s platform is therefore an important one, providing a balanced outlook that is accessible to all.
What drives you as an artist?
Attention to detail is vital to me. I observe the world in an almost abstract way. In my work, I can zone in on the small, unremarkable things in nature and express them on canvas.
On careful observation through a micro setting, I expose the essence of the object; I reveal its core. The form is broken down into texture, contrasts and movement.
Do you have a favourite or most meaningful work?
This is ever-changing.
What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?
My large solo show at the Irma Stern Museum.
What are your aspirations for the future?
To stay hooked. To never curb my enthusiasm to push forward and challenge my creativity.