THRESHOLD: The zebra-fish: the vision of the sangoma.
THRESHOLD: The zebra-fish: the vision of the sangoma.
Mandala the rhizome. Picture: PAUL DARNE
Mandala the rhizome. Picture: PAUL DARNE

Arts Writer

ARTIST Wilna van der Walt will exhibit her work at the UCT Irma Stern Museum in Cecil Road, Rosebank from May 14 to June 4. Using the medium of oil, what makes this unusual for the artist is that this body of work has been created using active imagination – a true inner journey. The exhibition will be opened by Amanda Botha at 11am on May 14 and there will be a walkabout with the artist at 11am on May 21.

This exhibition and book launch, The Old Woman and the Moon an inner journey in oil, spans 25 years of the artists’s life. The interrelatedness of separate works will be demonstrated and mythological and alchemical themes will be amplified.

“I am 57 years old and am following my inner star which led me back to my birth-ground. I have resolved to tell the story, the journey, of my seeking and survival in the cement jungle, by way of the deeper images of my life. After the destruction of divorce in the early 1990’s, I had to go back to a career that I found unfulfilling. From my own broken position I soon realized that, not only was I not the only broken one, but my whole world is unforgiving and broken. I turned to the work of CG Jung and discovered that wholeness lies in the depths, and so art came into my life as active imagination,” she says.

“Right from the start, my goal was not to make a work of art, but rather to experiment with ‘the unknown other’ in my personality. I did not realize at the time that I was doing active imagination, but called it the creative process. I viewed it as a sacred space and felt the need to protect it from outside influences. For that reason I never took art classes, but viewed mistakes and artistic problems as part of the conversation. I solved problems by waiting for the answer to come from the other side. The psyche is a whole universe, and alive,” the artist adds.

“The artworks relate to one another, they portray the deeper story of my life, and integrating the content will probably take me the rest of my life. The images do not follow chronologically upon each other, but rather weave back and forth. Mythological themes can be traced and will be amplified by additional exhibits. At times I consciously engaged with the myth at the time of the creation of the work, but often the deeper connection was only made much later.

l www.wilnavanderwalt.co.za, www.irmasternmuseum.org.za