OPENING at artSPACE durban tonight are two thought-provoking exhibitions: Sea Fever by Jane Strode in the Main Gallery and Corné Eksteen’s disintegration in the Middle Gallery.
Speaking about Sea Fever, Jane Strode says: “The sea has always been a part of my life: I grew up on the North Coast and then five years ago my brother moved to Muizenberg in Cape Town and I began visiting once a year.
“The light is so different there that I became obsessed and the line of poetry: “I must go down to the sea again, the lonely sea and the sky” echoed in my head. I needed to be out in all weathers, documenting the changing light and mood of the sea with my camera the way other artists use sketchbooks. For me, a camera works better because the scene in front of me changes by the second.
“Just relying on my camera is not satisfying enough however. I want to reinterpret those images with brushes and paint and palette knife. I want to put emotion into them. I want to paint that loneliness, that space, that vastness. I want to feel the clean colours, the coldness of the water. I want to paint the beauty and the fear of rough seas.
“My mind churns with ideas of how to capture the charm of the foamy curves of receding waves, the abstract patterns of reflections on that white Cape sand.
“I have macular degeneration and my eyesight is currently only 50% of a normal person’s vision. The deterioration has been rapid – over two years I lost 20% of my vision and perhaps because of this my paintings have changed. I have found a freedom of movement in my brushstrokes and the colours that I use.
“This desire to experiment and break away from old habits has also invaded my textile pieces and I have become far more experimental than I have been in the past. But perhaps I place too much emphasis on my eyesight. Perhaps this new freedom is also part of growing older and more confident as an artist.”
Corné Eksteen’s disintegration is a selection of works, mainly portraits, created over the last three months. Utilising a distinctive approach to this tradition, these works visually explore themes relating to the deconstruction and fragmentation of identity.
Through a process of drawing on conventions of both, figurative and abstract painting, the works attempt to visually dissect the subject matter in the pursuit of an understanding of the dynamics and transient nature of the 21st century psyche.
They are intended to evoke discussion on the idea of personal identity as a series of disjointed concepts in a continuous state of flux.
artSPACE durban is at 3 Millar Road, Durban. Inquiries: 031 312 0793.