ART lovers have until tomorrow to head over to Artisan Gallery on Florida Road to view the work of talented South African artists Dot Vermeulen and Elrie Joubert.
Tonight chatted to the pair about their journey in art and the significance of their work.
As last year’s winner of the Sasol New Signature award, Vermeulen says visual expression was naturally integrated into her family life as her dad was an art teacher.
She reveals: “I never saw art as a separate activity. It had always been the dialect with which I addressed the world. With a bit of rebellion and determination, I discovered that it could also become a career.”
Her work at the gallery is a collection built up over time, produced for various projects.
She shares: “They happened at intervals when I had the chance to whip out my laptop and drawing tablet during a stolen hour in between classes, in coffee shops, during travels etc.
“So no overall theme, yet my work generally deals with the juxtapositioning of the physical body with the communicative trends of humanity such as the processing of academic and industrial information.
“I am curious about the state and the role of our bodies within the machine of human development.
“I believe that images travel at a great pace and sometimes strike where other means of communication fail. If everyone understood the potential of this language, it could be applied successfully in so many ways, beyond the art world nexus. I personally like to connect interdisciplinary to see what is sparked up.
“I have a special affinity for the health sciences and am for ever exploring the role played by visual imagery here.”
Joubert, who was the winner of the 2012 Absa L’Atelier Competition, was fortunate enough to grow up in a creative and supporting environment.
She says of her journey to date in art: “After completing my BA fine art degree in 2006, I enrolled for my MA in fine art and completed my degree in 2010.
“My time at the university was, as any hard-working art student will tell you, the shaping years of my creative style where I learnt how to handle critique, work hard and when and how to take chances.”
Her art in the exhibition forms part of a bigger collection of work titled For Keep’s Sake that was exhibited in May at the Absa Gallery in Joburg for her first solo exhibition.
“Basically, the works represent a combination between where I come from – my heritage and personal collection of objects from our family farm – in contrast with the influences and inspiration from Paris, during my six- month stay at the Cite Internationale des Arts, as part of my Absa L’Atelier winning prize.”
On winning the Absa L’Atelier, Joubert says at first it was a bit surreal.
“I think the moment was just too overwhelming. And even now that I have been to Paris, had my solo exhibition and all the exposure that came with winning the Absa L’Atelier, it almost still feels too good to be true.
“ I would encourage any young, up-and-coming artist to work hard and enter competitions like the Absa L’Atelier.
“You never know when your whole life may change,” she says.
• The exhibition runs until Saturday at the Artisan Gallery on Florida Road. Call 031 312 4364.