For the Autumn exhibition at Eclectica Design and Art, we return to the earth and all its offerings. The artists exhibiting work on this new group show have been tasked with the exploration of interaction with nature and its surroundings. Particularly topical in this time of enviromental crisis, the work sets up points of wonder and creates a space for questioning our impact and relation to the natural world. The exhibition explores both the solace and the fear we experience in our world – on the one hand it offers safety, remedies, calming landscapes but can also bare witness and catalyze vast disasters.
The work of Jacobus Kloppers meditates on how we interact, impact, explore, affect the worlds we exist within and how our mediums of working can alter according to our interaction with them. His paintings in subject are calm and serene while his tentative painting technique conveys a calling for deeper interaction and nurture. Rosemary Joynt engages landscape through subtle abstraction, using vivid colour and hazy textures while Alet Swarts’s hyperreal/surreal artworks juxtapose the manmade with the natural and converse on the interaction afforded.
If we think of the world as an integrated network of billions of organisms, what relationship can be created or developed when pairings of chemical and pigment articulate questions about nature or organic processes. In Sue Greeff’s work, she conceives artworks that reflect on the birth, life, death, and our histories while drawing parallels between these concepts and previous training in midwifery, acknowledging a visual relationship between human and nature. Tanya Sternberg’s work grapples with colour, form and texture – illuminating geographical and topographical intricacies, reimagining an extended potential of explorations.
When creating the theme for this exhibition, we have thought about those whom have come before, not just artists but makers who have previously confronted these topics. We proposed the question, “how can the new work interact and build on our understanding of nature, the soul and our lived experiences?” When looking at the work of Natasha Barnes we are offered the possibility to consider: are dreamscapes a kind of nature? In this way, it is evident that the abandoned garden can, in fact, be understood as a kind of introspection. Similarly, in Leila Fanner’s artworks, notions of escape are unpacked according to a spiritual and metaphysical relationship with the environment, unveiling space of meditation within this process. Perhaps the dreamscapes we explore can offer a symbiotic process of exploration and learning, translating across lucidity and rest.
Art surfaces amidst a series of contradictions and questions that in turn allow a viewer to travel a path of exploring, self-reflection and thought that might lead toward further awareness. During times of crisis, celebration, warning and navigation, art can offer a place to ruminate, reimagine and consider broader ideas illustrated. In this sense, it can conceivably be a social tool, to draw us back to what has been forgotten, compromised and ignored. With this exhibition, Eclectica Design and Art presents a carefully selected series of work by 7 contemporary artists that push and interrogate a reminder of the gardens we have abandoned, imagined, wandered through or have yet to find.
Participating artists include: