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Monday
Dec242012

Painting as a Refuge

Since our last exhibition at Fat Tuesday in May this year, Lara and I have submitted a proposal for an exhibition at KZNSA that has been accepted by the selection committee. We have started making assemblages and more sculptural pieces for this show as well as our better-known two-dimensional pieces. I am not going to blog about these new pieces until after the opening of the exhibition. One of the pieces intended for this show has gone public already & is hanging outside the entrance of our new staff room, so I decided to share it.

 I started working on this painting in December 2011 and have worked on it sporadically throughout this year.

This artwork ended up at school as a result of my frustration during the September break. The IEB (Independent Examinations Board) don't place any restrictions on the time allocated to making the Grade 12 final Practical piece. However, the artwork is not allowed to leave the school & the art teacher has to supervise the making of these artworks. Grade 12 students leave everything to the last minute, so as a result we normally spend the September break in the art studios - them finishing off their pieces while I spend my days distributing equipment from store rooms, trying to work out solutions to disasters (because they didn't do enough experimentation prior to making the artwork) and reassuring everyone that it will all work out.

After one particularly tiring day I decided to take my big tree painting (150x100cm) to school & have some "time out" in my own classroom.  I dragged an easel into the middle of the room, set up the painting on this easel, plugged in my iPod & announced that I was going to turn murderous if I didn't paint. I managed to get in a few undisturbed hours of painting.  

Not every day was as idyllic - as the date of the exhibition drew near the girls needed me more so I only found time to paint after they had left to write their final examinations. 

Our bursar was looking for some artwork for display in & outside the staff room - she came up to the studios one day & asked me if she could use my painting until the opening of our exhibition at KZNSA.

This particular tree represents my favourite tree the fig tree - an obsession that I have had for many years. I love the muscular structure of these trees and their intertwining branches. I only recently found out that the tree I have been painting is a strangler fig. I did some research on these trees & found this article by David Tng quite interesting.

The following images show the progress of this painting:

The final painting is at the top of this post.  

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