An exhibition curated by Mary-Louise Stein
In conceptualising this exhibition, Mary-Louise Stein asked artists to move very loosely through the theme of nature. This is the very essence of life allowing artists to look at anything from a forest to a human relationship.
Hayley Ellis works out of the Outsider Studio – in her Cape Town home. She works in pen and ink, ceramic sculpture, oils and acrylics on canvas. Because she uses “whatever resources and materials are available to me…my works are mainly mixed media, using paper, board, linen or canvas, and even Perspex.”
She examines gender, environmental and socio-political issues, ofren exploring her place in this environment. Hayley’s paintings are often abstract and expressionist. They’re filled with lines and marks as I explore ideas, often revealing the route the work will take, drawing me towards the shape and palette. Then she turns her mind inwards, contemplates, and then celebrates her communion with the instinct that makes her hand move. Sometimes her body also moves as she listens to the sounds and sees shapes in her mind’s eye: “I lose myself in the rhythm and poetry of the mark-making.”
Hayley’s work is available in limited edition runs of up to twenty-five, numbered and signed prints.
After completing her studies at the end of 1979, Laura was a journalist on the art and entertainment pages at the then morning newspaper, Die Transvaler, before working on the news desk at the SABC.
After she married in 1986, they moved to The Netherlands – initially for four years while her husband studied at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague staying for 32 years. Until her children were born in the 1990’s she worked at the South African Embassy before freelancing as a journalist and translator.
Art and creativity have always been part of her existence and in 2005 she started her own company, Trapsuutjies Textielverf building a brand much loved by textile artists. She imported South African screen printing ink, designing her own stamps that were also hand cut in South Africa. She took her products to trade fairs in The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and England.
After selling the business in 2010, she enrolled the Kunst Academie St Lucas in Kapellen, Belgium and Academie Noord in Antwerp where she did a two-year training in different media, followed by four years in printmaking and another two years in drawing. During this time, she participated in various group exhibitions in Belgium and The Netherlands.At the end of 2018 she returned to South Africa and now lives in Montagu where she devotes most of her time to art and reading. She makes prints, draws, paints and loves experimenting with different techniques and media. Recently her life has been taken over by collage!
In February 2022, Laura had a two-person collage exhibition with Marinda du Toit’s at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in Durbanville. Also in 2022, Laura was a Sasol New Signatures finalist.
Marie Stander is a portrait and figurative artis with a BA Fine Arts degree from the University of Stellenbosch. Her work is mostly inspired by people that she knows, loves and cares for. She lives in Jamestown, a small rural village outside Stellenbosch, and for about 25 years, this community with all their joys, hardships, stories and very rich cultural background has been an inspiration.
She mostly draws with charcoal on cotton paper, which perfectly suits her obsession with light and dark contrasts. For her, light and dark creates its own detail and at the same time heightens the evocative and atmospheric quality of her work. Her portraits and figures are mostly drawn in life size or bigger, so large scale drawings often confront and interact with the viewer. The tactile quality of the medium fascinates her, and she often creates by drawing and smearing with her hands and fingers, making intuitive marks, while observing every fine detail of her sitters’ features and costumes which all adds to whom and what her sitter is about. To heighten certain important elements of her drawings, she sometimes she adds a touch of colour using ink or soft pastel.
- 10 Solo exhibitions, plus a 2010 retrospective exhibition at the Sanlam Headquarters in Cape Town. With two artworks included in the Sanlam Private Collection.
- Two published books on her work, ‘Onse Mense’ and ‘Onse Mense 2’, sponsored by Sanlam, and in which poems by South African poets complement her work. Both launched at the Woordfees, with solo exhibitions.
- Rust and Vrede National Portrait Awards: 6 portraits on the Top 40, in four consecutive years.
- Commissioned portrait of patron Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the Tygerberg Hospital.
- Hosts annual portrait workshops: since 2014 in France and Tuscany, as well as several charity workshops in SA.
- One of four solo invited artists at Aardklop, KKNK and Woordfees and participated in several Art Fairs in Cape Town and Johannesburg
- Teaches 70 students at the Marie Stander School of Art in Stellenbosch since 2000.
Talya is a young South African printmaker. Her work draws from her deep love of the mountain and rock surfaces, where she spends much of her time; hiking and walking on the mountains and in the forests that she is surrounded by – finding the calm and beauty in these moments and spaces. Her work often incorporates the patterns and forms that appear in nature, exploring themes of time and control in relation to both environmental change and personal experiences of ADHD and anxiety.
Her work explores ideas of control, looking at the ever-changing world around us and drawing from the small acts of order and control we have on our individual spaces. On an individual and personal level her work draws from an unsettling feeling of anxiety about changes and external realities that are out of her control. These are the inevitable ends and unpredictable beginnings that leave her with a deep anxiety and restlessness, as well as the significance of her ADHD in a day-to-day environment which causes this same restlessness.
Lukas Stander is a young photographer from Stellenbosch, South Africa. Growing up in an artistic family, Lukas developed a passion for capturing the beauty of the world through the lens of a camera. He specializes in portrait photography, with a focus on capturing raw emotions and expressions that truly capture the essence of his subjects.
In addition, Lukas loves to venture into the great outdoors, using his camera to document the stunning landscapes and vistas that he encounters. With an insatiable curiosity and a thirst for exploration, Lukas is always seeking out new adventures and opportunities to capture the world around him.
Marleen De Villiers
Marleen is a mixed media artist and her artmaking in textile art explores the transient nature of natural cycles, in life and death and rebirth. Current works focus on exposing the subversive themes in human relationships, such as power dynamics, estrangement in families and a questioning of the values of family heirlooms.
By using and re-using traditional heirlooms and domestic objects, she writes new stories from previously restrictive cultural and generational influences, creating a more liberating story line and subsequently bringing new life into used, stained, distressed and broken heirlooms.
In this exhibition she offers an exploration and expression of threading stories in the dialogue between mind, symbolic meaning and essence.
In creating necklaces, Marleen explores states of being, imagination, emotion, symbolism and metaphor venturing into a dialogue between art and psychology. The process of making these pieces allows for intrapersonal and spiritual reflection and meaning-making, where art is medicine and self-adornment in the wearing of these pieces pays homage to the wisdom and grace of beauty itself.
As with her textile art-making practice, Marleen uses materials that are natural, found, gifted, and collected over many years and from various places and countries around the world. Pieces are often deconstructed and re-made to re-use, re-purpose, re-imagine and offer a new life.