Stevenson is hosting virtual open studios for all their represented artists. It’s only on until the 29th so go check it out.

Here is my TLDR version. But rather go look at all the works and all the videos for yourself.

(Disclosure I didn’t have time to watch the studio videos although I long to. Maybe I can make some time over the weekend)

Deborah Poynton
Drawing on Black Paper 12, 2021
Coloured pencil and white pen on black Fabriano paper
42 x 29.7cm

We went to Deborah Poynton’s recent exhibition at Stevenson in Johannesburg and one could do a full thesis on the symbolism in her work. It’s really something to experience because the realism is not photo-realistic, there are these hyper-real and surreal elements and it is really intriguing.

Portia Zvavahera
I am praying for you, 2021
Oil-based printing ink and oil bar on canvas
210 x 188cm

Just look at these textures and the warm feeling that this cocoon is evoking. Can I incubate in it for a bit?

Penny Siopis
Not so quiet world, 2021
Glue, ink and oil on unstretched canvas
300 x 217cm

Zander Blom
Monochrome 5, 2021
Oil on linen
50 x 39.5cm

Rahima Gambo
corncockle, red clover, meadow fescue, A Walk series, 2021
Collage and graphite on paper
45.7 x 30cm

I was paging through a sketchbook from 6 years ago and there are lots of drawings of me and my baby and out of my feet roots grow and dig deep into the earth. It would seem like a theme around this is emerging again, especially when I then come across Rahima Gambo’s work. Walking as a grounding practise. Grounding practise in general, especially in stressful times. A friend is talking about his Artists Walks inspired by Julia Cameron and I am jealous – I also want to go on artists walks! – but have no time to investigate what they actually are nor to even contemplate practising them. Not having time is of course an illusion because for sure I could make time. Making time. But need to ground properly first.

And this next one with the shadows seems relevant and similar.

Viviane Sassen
Point of no return red ink , 2021
Digital C-print with acrylic varnish
Image size: 15 x 10cm

Paulo Nazareth

I’m not including a specific work by Paulo Nazareth because it’s not the individual works that pull me but rather the entire space, which reminds me of the Owl House. I love that he is working with the masks – my goodness have I come across weird conspiracy theories about these face masks we are wearing in the pandemic! I can’t even explain – I tried to engage with one of the people who believe the conspiracies but I could not follow – they were unable to use logical thinking and kept on jumping around and I was just confused. I’m still unable to make sense of it. It had something to do with how wearing a mask is the first step towards turning us all into slaves.

Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi
Arena, 2021
Oil on canvas
150 x 150cm

How calming is this image? The muted colours, the straight lines… I want to stand in front of it like one is supposed to stand in front of a Rothko – close, so that the entire canvas fills all your vision and your peripheral vision – and just let the calm imbue me.

Hylton Nel
Off to China (and back from China), 13 May 2015
Glazed ceramic
5 x 25.5cm

I’m off bye See you soon!

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