Sunday, August 21, 2011

I love proteas

It's such a warm day in Durban today, it feels like spring is on it's way. I just have to share the stunning bunch of proteas I bought yesterday, aren't they so beautiful. I haven't seen this particular colour combination before - soft green-tinged white petals with a deep aubergine feathered edge and pale pink inside. I am smitten.


Proteas have been a recurring theme and a source of inspiration in my artwork. They are truely unique, wonderfully diverse and really hardy. Here's a few examples of my work that has been inspired by these magnificent plants.

detail from 'Growth' series of 5 small ceramic domes, 2008

protea from 'Cone Series', 2007, an installation of 32 ceramic works

detail of 'red protea' commission, 2006 - large dome - glazed ceramic


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

inspiration: new work

Here is the work I've done for the 'Inspiration' group exhibition which opened on Monday, 28 March at ArtSpace Durban gallery. It's on for another two weeks. 25 artists were invited to participate in the show. Each artist had to select an artwork from the Durban Art Gallery's archive and make a work inspired by that piece. I chose Ryan Arenson's White Tree, Black Rider, Coloured Chickens triptych. I really liked the motifs that Arenson chose for his oil paintings, particularly his Pierneef tree.

I've been fascinated with trees for a while now, for me they are like the watchers of the world. A tree I'm particularly obsessed with, is one I walk past every day on my way to work. I think it was struck by lightening a few years ago, and it has since died and shed it's bark. The sun has bleached the tree to these wonderful shades of grey and it is a favourite perch for birds in the area. I've photographed this tree many times and in different light, against the stark blue sky of a autumn day to the moody, overcast humid summer afternoon.

Here is my interpretation of Arenson's work:

Carla da Cruz - grey tree, dark rider, brown chickens, 2011, glazed ceramic

grey tree, 2011, glazed ceramic

grey tree, detail
grey tree, detail

The 'dark rider' tile has an interesting 'woven' texture and is glazed in muted greys with a brilliant red glaze which has come out really intense, with a slight dimpling to the surface, a wonder of the firing process.

dark rider, 2011, glazed ceramic
dark rider, detail
dark rider, detail

The 'brown chickens' tile is quite playful, in that to me, the chickens appear to be dancing, scratching, pecking. I wanted to create movement with the placement of the chickens and the horizontal incised detail in the background. The muted brown glazes unify the composition.

brown chickens, 2011, glazed ceramic
brown chickens, detail
brown chickens, detail

I've really enjoyed working on these tiles and this has a new technique for me: the incised-line drawing into clay. Working with representational motifs is something I haven't done in a long time. I'm planning a whole series of pieces, where I will work in this manner.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New @ the KZNSA Gallery

The KZNSA has, this week, launched the opening of the new Park Contemporary. This new space will showcase the works of professional artists in KZN. It aims to function as an "art agency" that will serve artists, supporters of art and collectors. The launch features various artist's work including Peter Rippon, Bronwen Vaughn-Evans, Coral Spencer Domijan, Clive Sithole, John Roome, Grace Kotze and me.

 Here's some photos of the works what you can expect to see:

another beautiful work by Bronwen Vaughn-Evans

Clive Sithole's ceramic work

Detail of Coral Spencer Domijan's painting

Peter Rippon's 'Moth' oil painting

The artwork I submitted is an abbreviated version of 'Schema' which was included in my last show, 'Imprint' in November 2009. These are the works that were not sold then, there was originally 16 pieces. I think they still work well as a series of 10. These are made in porcelain fired to 1200 degree celcius and then glazed. Here's some images of my work you can see at the KZNSA Gallery.

 Carla da Cruz - Schema, 2009

Schema - detail - 5 pieces

Schema - detail - 4 pieces
Schema - detail - 2 pieces

Schema (growth)
Schema (lichen)
Schema (nodules)
Schema (segmented)
Schema (tendrils)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Bloom @ Casa Labia

I'll be participating in the In Bloom exhibition opening at Casa Labia, Muizenburg on the 16 November. I have a number of works on show which will be available to purchase. The exhibition is open until 29 January 2011.
For those of you in the area, visit Casa Labia, which has recently been restored. It was built in 1929 to reflect the spirit of 18th century Venice. The house is now run as a multi-functional cultural centre which includes an independent, contemporary South African art gallery and Africa Nova boutique.

Below are a few examples of my work on show

Saturday, November 6, 2010

New Work: Mitosis

So the original idea for this work was to make a triptych which turned into a series of four. The second piece I made unfortunately broke as I was cleaning it, it wasn't meant to be (as my mentor always says). I remade it and then made a third piece and decided it needed a fourth piece to complete the group. I've titled this work 'Mitosis', which means cell division. I think it's quite obvious why :)

I really enjoyed making these. Each 'layer' of porcelain is achieved by rolling out paper thin strips of clay and carefully folding and laying them onto the previous strip and porcelain base of the piece. Only the bottom portion of the strip is cross-hatched, slipped and attached the previous layer. Enabling me to achieve the ruffled and slightly distressed edge.

This work can be seen at the 'In Bloom' exhibition, opening on the 16 November at Casa Labia in Muizenburg, Cape Town. So if you're in the area, why don't you pop in and have a look at the show.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Work in Progress

I started this piece over the weekend and I completed it late yesterday evening. The technique is something I've been toying with for a while now but this is the first time I've tried using this layered, fringed technique on a larger scale in porcelain. I usually work quite small in porcelain. I used a plaster mould for the basic structure of the piece, which I began by laying a thin slab of porcelain about 5mm thick into the mould. I then pressed the clay in gently , trying not to stretch or tear the porcelain.

I'm quite happy with the piece, it's now drying out before it can be fired. Hopefully it will dry and fire well. I plan this piece to be a part of a triptych making up a small group. I'll keep you updated with the progress. :)