NIRVANA | Body is released

Nirvana: a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. Also, a 90s rock band characterized by Grunge themes such as social alienation, psychological trauma, and a desire for freedom.

In 2019, my son had major brain surgery because he suffered from fatal focal seizures. The seizures ensured we lived in a state of emergency; a kind of disorder of anticipation for what could happen. Our freedom of movement was confined to the proximity of a hospital and our anxiety about interacting with people was always fraught with tension.

 

Since his surgery, my son has not had one seizure, but the world has experienced a pandemic. The world is in crisis, but our family is no longer. This ironic twist of events has resulted in the Nirvana series of paintings which introspectively examine the state of family peace in a time of global stress. The works are an examination of my/our rituals in the home and as such an extension of our imagination during uncertain times. Times, which emphasizes the simple pleasures of being alive – of feeling lucky to be healthy and together.

 

We inherited a wondrous garden in our new home. Despite the confined challenge of “lockdown” and the overwhelming fear; our garden became a refuge in healing our trauma. The experience of time is evident in these over-observed, overpainted nature paintings with their invented, theatrical presentation; born from this happiness/boredom/stress of a contradictory context. They straddle a bittersweet representation of suburban life. Backdrops if you will for an upcoming production that does not want an audience.

More works in this series

Impasse

Impasse, 2020, ink, acrylic and oil paint (193cm x 130cm) FRAMED - available for purchase

Impasse is a state where you are blocked, and no further progress can be foreseen. This painting, however, is about that moment when imagination and reality become an adventure. It’s about how creativity can always find a way out of a seemingly impossible situation. At this moment my son and I began to play and connect. The immediate space around us became electric and we could experience happiness. 

Portal

(Sold) Portal, 2021, ink, acrylic and oil paint (168cm x 136cm) FRAMED

The first iteration of garden paintings in my series is titled Nirvana. This is the view from a window in my house. During lockdown I would work on my laptop, in front of this window, every morning. Soon I began to imagine that there might be something more beyond the palms. My son and I began to imagine a time warp in our garden. A hypothetical distortion of space-time in which people and events from one age can be imagined to exist in another age. Or, that I was in fact in the time warp and this was all an illusion in which time appears to stand still. Either way, the imaginary possibilities that the garden space presented became the portal through which we as a family began to heal.

Prices available on request, please get in touch if you are interested in exhibiting my work or to purchase directly.

Transition

(Sold) Transitioning, 2021, ink, acrylic and oil paint on canvas (150cm x 210cm)

Transitioning… “period or phase in which such a change or shift is happening…to be at the cusp.”

Prices available on request, please get in touch if you are interested in exhibiting my work or to purchase directly.

Brothers

Brothers, 2021, ink, acrylic and oil paint on canvas (2400mm x 1750mm) - available for purchase

Their loud energy pervades my home. The intrinsic link between the Hadedas shrills and the breeze in the leaves all contribute to this feeling. Occasionally I am pensive and their future seems ominous and other times there exists an exhale like no other. 

 

Prices available on request, please get in touch if you are interested in exhibiting my work or to purchase directly.

Fever

Fever, 2021, ink, acrylic and oil paint on canvas (102,5cm x 73cm) FRAMED - available for purchase

A fever is a state of heightened or intense emotion or activity. In this artwork the twisting luminosity of the Fever-tree branches coupled with the intense noise of the carpenter bees and the tick-ticking of the freshly rained on electric fence enhanced this feeling of being overwhelmed. And to think…I was simply taking a walk around my neighborhood. 

Running on the Verge

(Sold) Running on the verge, 2021, ink, acrylic and oil paint on canvas (120cm x 200cm) FRAMED

Every day I run. It is a ritual. I take my rings off before I run. I wear a cap so that I may appear neutral. I love to be out on the verge. I love to see the type of plants people plant around their houses. I take notice of the different wall textures as I run past them. I mostly wonder who lives behind the gates. I have to concentrate because the road is ever changing and mostly uneven. I greet everybody as I run past. I do this so that I both see and hear them… just in case. I am extremely aware of all the stops along my route where someone could help if I need.

Prices available on request, please get in touch if you are interested in exhibiting my work or to purchase directly.

Mama Precious

Mama Precious, 2021, ink, acrylic and oil paint on canvas (123cm X 103cm) FRAMED - available for purchase

This portrait is a celebration of a healer. This is Mama Precious (Precious Sithole), a Zulu woman originally from Eskort in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Mama Precious manages to find joy in all that she does. She heals through her kindness and her empathy – qualities which are often an anomaly in our existing world.

Prices available on request, please get in touch if you are interested in exhibiting my work or to purchase directly.

The Guardians

The Guardians, 2021, ink, acrylic and oil paint on canvas (204m x 153m) FRAMED

There are many years in this piece. There are the people who have nurtured and protected me. There is the adaptable creature that I worship. There is a precautionary warning to urge one to stop but a bubbling over which indicates one can’t.

Prices available on request, please get in touch if you are interested in exhibiting my work or to purchase directly.

The Weaver

(Sold) The Weaver, 2021, ink, acrylic and oil paint on canvas (120cm x 100cm)

One day, my boring view was interrupted by the maniacal flapping of a weaver bird racing past my eyeline. He had probably been there for months but I hadn’t noticed. He quickly became a part of my/our daily routine. My children and I watched how he chose specific leaves and threaded them so proficiently. Indeed, we began to appreciate the nature around us which the garden facilitated so spectacularly but more than that, we began to appreciate each other. This simple collective family experience of such a seemingly mundane moment manifested a fleeting moment of joy. This is the feeling I want to remember. Joy.

Prices available on request, please get in touch if you are interested in exhibiting my work or to purchase directly.

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