Monday, November 26, 2012
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Ryan Hewett was born in Natal in 1979. He is largely self-taught in painting, apart from taking art as a subject in High school. At school he did little painting, but worked mainly in pencil, producing very tight realistic studies, which he soon grew bored of. It was only a few years out of school when he came across works of certain artists that he was inspired to paint. He was blown away by the way they moved paint around the canvas. In a sculptural process, loose brush work that still pulls together. Painting is something that has followed Hewett. He never gave it too much thought, he remembers his best friend saying: “if all else fails at least we got our art to fall back on.” For a long period, he did not think about being an artist.
“I was so wrapped up in being young and having fun, partying was a big part of my youth, and almost my downfall. I really did not have much direction at all, but now and again I would isolate myself, and once again find myself sketching. There was a period where I lived in a caravan for a few months on a river outside Hermanus, by myself where I fished and sketched, before that I hadn’t picked up a pencil in years. Family and friends saw the work I had produced and were amazed I wasn’t taking it seriously. Shortly after that I began to paint, from there I realized that this is my gift and i was going to be an artist.”
In Hewett’s latest body of work entitled: “Awakening Series”, he explores the moment of an idea or a thought that leads us to a point of profound realisation or understanding. It is this rare ‘split second’ moment in our life that leads us to make big changes in our understanding of who we are and our relationship with the world around us. There is a wonderful expressionist style to Hewett’s work. He accentuates certain features he wants to highlight to the viewer. He uses a palette knife, applying paint very thickly onto the canvas, creating texture in his work, which appeals to all the senses, a signature trademark in his style. Ryan Hewett lives and works in the Natal midlands with his wife Shayleen and their young son Eli.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
One of Barry Jackson's favourite subjects are the Bushmen people of Southern Africa. They were the first people to inhabit Africa and they were the only African people that practiced art. No one knows how long they have been here but rock paintings have been found that predated the pyramids of Giza by thousands of years, as far back as the Stone Age. They are still here today, many living exactly the same lifestyle they did then. They were prolific artists and their rock paintings, found all over Southern Africa are a record of their life style, culture, and deep spiritual beliefs and remain artistically significant even by today’s standards. Some of their caves are decorated in a magnificent cathedral like way and some even liken them to the religious works of the European Renaissance. The Bushmen are now however a displaced people and their numbers are declining. The arrival of the white man in Southern Africa who considered the Bushmen thieves and vermin and slaughtered them at will, and the black man who migrated from the north and treated them just as mercilessly, together did all they could to wipe them out. The peace loving and for the most part friendly Bushman who killed only to survive stood no chance. He has been forced to the fringes of civilisation; most of his hunting land has disappeared, and his way of life has been outlawed thanks to civilisation and politics.