IN her exhibition Fusion: roots and routes at artSPACE Gallery, Lee Scott Hempson portrays a fusion of personas.

In recent years, her paintings have been narratives and a way of portraying her understanding – or lack thereof – of humanity. Her paintings have been, and still are, an emotional expression of her reaction to life.

She told Tonight that the personas in her work are those of fine artist, eco-sensitive, lecturer and social being.

“This fusion or association of ideas makes my craft rich in imagery.

“The ‘routes’ I have taken to get to this here and now, added to the acknowledgement that my ‘roots’ colour my perceptions of everything I experience, have directed my creative inspiration, identity and individuality.

“The cut-outs reflect my fashion drawing and illustration interests, my appreciation of textiles, and eco-sensibilities/bush ‘roots’, having grown up on a farm.”

Scott Hempson’s passion for art began when she was 9.

“I discovered there was one thing I could do better than anyone else in my class – I could paint and draw. I was an introverted youngster and felt like an outsider. But through my art I found acceptance and a sense of belonging. “I also had the privilege of growing up in the bush, so was able to express my love of the African lowveld through my child eyes.” She uses mediums ranging from water colour to acrylic and oils and says she likes to mix media. “This latest body of work is mostly done on wood. I have created a series of figurative ‘cut-outs’ on which I have painted in acrylic.

“Acrylic paints suited the textural quality I hoped to achieve. I also enjoy the physical act of creating and cutting the wood.”

On her creative process, Scott Hempson says she is never short of ideas, but short of time. “However, as the title of my exhibition suggests, I have a plethora of visual triggers with which to work.

“The ability to reflect and meta-reflect on earlier work – to see the various trains of thought that continually pop up – is important in the idea-generating process.

“In terms of challenges, I think one is confronted with many types. For me it’s been about drawing together the many aspects of self into a successful whole. To be able to portray the vast conglomeration of influences and ideas is in itself a fine art.”

What can people expect from the exhibition? “It will be a visual feast of formats, beautiful and quirky to the eye. ”Some pieces, I think, will delight. Some will challenge perceptions of beauty and identity, and some may even evoke personal nostalgias.”

• The exhibition ends on March 22 at artSPACE Gallery. For info, call 031 312 0793.