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KZN artists showcase a riot of colour, form

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TO NDR ART1.

SHOWCASING some of the finest art by well-known KZN artists, The Green Gallery presents A Splash of Red, which opens on August 30. Three talented artists are exhibit-ing their work: Ian van Zyl, Owen Llewellyn Davies (known as Llewellyn in the art world) and Nicole Pletts.

The display consists of Van Zyl’s wildlife paintings and landscapes, Llewellyn focuses on sculptures and Pletts showcases work in oils and watercolours.

Tonight touched based with Van Zyl and Llewellyn about the exhibition and what their work represented.

“In this exhibition I have tried to place emphasise on the situations that confront our planet today – global warming, overpopulation and loss of habitat resulting in the extinction of numerous species every year. I have done this by depicting the interaction of man and animals specifically in south-ern Africa and highlighting the encroachment of human ‘develop-ment’ on the last remaining wildlife sanctuaries,” said Van Zyl.

For Llewellyn, his work reflects the brilliant manifestation of life around him.

Raised on a farm, Van Zyl started drawing from the age of five. “I grew up on the family farms in the Northern Cape and was fasci-nated by the wildlife and animals I saw every day.

“I inherited my artistic and musical bents from my mother, who, as a foil from being a farmer’s wife, invented wonderful creative activities,” explained the artist.

From Durban and Cape Town to New York and London, Van Zyl has exhibited in galleries across the world. He says his ambition and responsibility “is to reflect the time and place that we find ourselves in and to make people aware of the problems that face us”.

His inspiration, motivation and artistic development come from the time he spends in the bush by himself, mostly in remote areas of SA, Botswana and Namibia. “I embark on an extended field trip every year. And in these wonderful wild places I find peace, creativity and understanding of my subject.”

Llewellyn also grew up surrounded by nature – a cattle ranch, to be more specific. His love for sculpting developed at the age of four when he would create clay sculptures in the river bed on the family farm in Southern Rhodesia.

“I see art in everything around me. Ideas originate as a celebration of life around me. These ideas are essentially a feeling within which is then expressed through sculpture.

“My ideas derive from the impossible beauty of Puccini’s Nessum Dorma; the delight in the eyes of a loved one; the tears of winter upon the spring leaves; the miracle of human ingenuity and stupidity; oceans of dancing yellow light in autumn; a single drop of rain; the weight in a mother’s gaze; the awe in the somethingness of the nothingness of a night sky; the sheer delight in a small boy catching his first fish; the mind of James Allen; the miracle of the written word and of love.”

For Llewellyn, his sculptures are a platform from which he shares and grows as a human being.

• A Splash of Red at The Green Gallery, Flanders Mall, Flanders Drive, Mount Edgecombe, opens on August 30. Call 031 502 2757.


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