Both exhibitions demonstrate fragility of human existence in times of uncertainties

Carl Jeppe and Adele Potgieter (Transfigure) 15 to 31 October 2020

By CityLife Arts Writer

The well known Pretoria artist, Carl Jeppe’s drawings and paintings on this exhibition is the result of two “lost years.”  In 2019 he was flattened by a case of shingles that put him out of action for four months.  2020 of course was, and still is, the year of the virus.

“Without exception, I feel sure, everyone in every corner of the planet got a little closer to confronting the reality of their mortality. In my latest work I look at cracks opening in the fabric of the earth.  They are perhaps metaphors for the cracks in society.  The cracks, crevices and fissures in my work demonstrate that, from an international perspective right down to personal relationships, we are often on shaky ground.”

While growing up, Jeppe often went on archaeological ‘digs’ with his family and it still holds a fascination for him. ”In my most recent drawings I’ve been discovering ruins and secret places of my own that could easily be that those ancient peoples were actually just like us. They fell in love, had families, built shelters, faced danger and hardships as well as happy and prosperous times.”

“Strangely enough, there are no people or animals or plants in my landscapes.  They might just as well be on another planet.  They might be on earth as well, an earth that has been plundered and desiccated and abandoned by its human residents, who’s only job on earth was to survive and prosper, but who didn’t pay much attention to the job description.”

Adele Potgieter has a strong affinity for pattern, sentimental objects, botanical specimens, insects, birdlife and found items such as interesting seed pods, feathers and sculls.   Her current body of work is focused on the mirroring of her digital collages.  This is a direct reaction to the current pandemic and related recent events.  “With the lockdown in March and the subsequent cancellation of commissions and exhibitions, I suddenly felt paralysed by uncertainty.  After wrestling with a sense of doom and gloom, I resolved to do whatever I can to persevere.”

Still life painting is the genre where her ideas and findings enjoy full expression.  She sees poetry in exploring how objects relate and create interesting visual connections when placed in proximity to each other.  Her camera is an important tool in this process and, over time, she has accumulated a library of digital photographs.

“In the past my works were more traditional in the sense that I tried to render a complete three-dimensional space. A few years ago, I started using flat lay photography and Trompe-l’oeil style compositions, thereby creating a more contemporary feel in my work.”  The final works executed in oil on canvas for this exhibition act as ‘little’ tributes to life, renewal, growth and abundance.

.Both these exhibitions can be viewed from Thursday 15 October to Saturday 31 October 2020 with an open day on Saturday 17 October 2020 from 10h00 to 13h00 at Association of Arts Pretoria, 173 Mackie Street, Nieuw Muckleneuk, Pretoria.

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