The acting head of Visual Communication and Programme Coordinator for Graphic Design, Nicolaas Human, exhibited his exquisite equestrian themed artworks at the Durban University of Technology Art Gallery.
Titled, Equus and Us: an exploration of paint and ink, consisted of oil and gouache paintings and a few ink sketches.
As the title indicates, horse and people portrait themes were explored in this exhibition, and in some instances a relationship between them. “My original inclination to paint horses could be similar to why Degas enjoyed the theme; for the movement, colours, energy and a certain elegance,” said Human.
Human perceives the horse as a symbol of elegance, beauty, strength, vigour, sensitivity, and is continually amazed through closely observing their sublime muscle movement, the concentration of energy. These attributed to his inspiration of the equestrian themed artworks and the reason for incorporating abstraction in the more recent pieces. “I shifted my focus to create work for a solo exhibition. It was during this time that my interest grew to combine realism with elements of abstraction as an attempt to scratch deeper than the surface; trying to evoke a feeling or mood rather than just depicting,” he said.
All the subjects for the artworks are rooted within the KwaZulu-Natal area, and are based on personal experiences.
“In 2014, I began to exhibit fairly regularly at the Shongweni Polo Club. This had its own challenges, but there I met a few horse owners for whom I did commissioned artworks,” said Human.
Embedded in some of these works is also a theme of rehabilitation. The horses in a number of paintings were given a new lease on life and are currently much loved by their subsequent owners.
Human encourages aspiring artists to put time aside to do what they are really connected to. “The quality of your work will improve if you invest time and energy. Aim to be attentive and listen to your senses. Being an artist requires some discipline,” he added.
The exhibition will end today (Friday, 06 October 2017.
Pictured: A painting from Human’s work and the exhibition
Carly van der Westhuizen