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THREE talented artists are showcasing their paintings at artSPACE gallery in the exhibition entitled Decipher. Deidre Maree, Grace Kotze and Suraya Tewary share their emotional grappling through the unravelling of paint using subjects such as interiors, rubbish dumps, the human form, and rural and urban landscapes.
According to a press release from artSPACE Gallery, the art display also portrays the artists’ personal journeys to understand, decipher and interpret using paint as a visual conduit, making their individual voices heard.
Kotze explains what her art in the exhibition symbolises: “It all talks of emotional conditions. I have chosen subjects, both human and flora, that hold true to my current emotional state.
“Even though not direct repre- sentations of my own image, I see any subject as a self portrait. Through selecting and painting the people and flora, their characteristics form clues as to how best to understand certain issues. The subjects pose both questions and answers, which is one of the magical qualities painting holds.”
It was during Kotze’s last year at school that art became a huge part of her life. She says she even gave up her desire for sport as her internal life became a far more exciting place to be.
Specialising in paintings, the artist says she loves the directness of the medium and the way the paintbrush feels like an extension of her arm.
“Colour mixing is also a direct process. One can alter the tones and colours within seconds to portray an emotion and not rely on an unpredictable process like mixing a glaze in ceramics, applying a patina in sculpture or finding a subject in photography with appropriate colour.”
In terms of her creative process, she tells me that her ideas come from a search for honesty: “I spend many hours looking for images that are not full of the fluff of trying to impress the public and art world. I try and keep the process simple by identifying an emotion and hunting for images that ring true to the feelings.”
For Kotze, what fascinates her the most about being an artist is working, as it is truly her passion.
“I generally wake up feeling very excited about another day’s work in my studio. It is invigorating and so satisfying, a job I never resent or want to change. I want to stay true to myself while making a living selling my work. It is a very hard balance to find, yet it is one that I am determined to achieve.”
So what can art lovers expect from attending the Decipher exhibition?
“They can expect us to attempt to decipher our standing as artist and human in relation to the world in which we reside,” says Kotze.
“The dominant subjects are landscapes and portraiture, yet if you look closer, the paintings talk of more than the representation of the traditional. Solid forms dissolve and the language of paint takes over on an abstract emotional level. The tradition of landscapes becomes one of emotional uncer- tainties with paint application often taking precedence, rubbish dumps and trees stripped to their basic of silhouetted branches.
“My subjects of choice are portraiture and fauna, both of which are subdued by contemplation. The portraits which dominate my work are ones of questions rather than answers.”