‘LEARNING TO LET GO’ – GRACE KOTZE, 04 JUN – 03 AUG 2015
Durban based painter Grace Kotze’s latest solo show ‘Learning to Let Go’ continues for a second month at EBONY Loop Street. Working in her signature loose style, Grace’s latest work encapsulate the beauty and necessity of letting things go. Using a largely earthy pallet shot through with luminescent greens and blues her works are quietly introspective and represent a journey into the ‘unknowing’ side of her consciousness.
“Learning to let go” is an exploration into my realisation that there are certain things in my internal growth that I don’t necessarily need to understand in order to move forward. Sometimes fixating on the need to understand keeps one frozen. There are some things in one’s life that one will never understand or will need to be revisited at a later stage for better clarity. Each painting is an exploration into and an acknowledgement into the value of not fully understanding ones past in my visual medium of paint.
The images I am using have no clear meaning but rather a sense of an event, time, object, landscape and figures. The obviously definite is absent through the use of distant gazing portraits, transient moths, misted landscapes, silhouetted foliage and shifting clouds. Yet all hold very poignancy emotions for me which I use colour, tone and mark to express. All point towards emotions that are not fully understood but affect me deeply. They hold feelings of hidden meanings, shifting times, obscured vision but peace and acceptance.
Such images of the unclear such as misted or shadowy landscapes move in and out of obscurity providing a very fertile subject for creativity. Their emotional voice is very in keeping with my own where I accept that the unknown is an entity that needs to be embraced. This is also seen in figures holding unknown points of interest but rather using the external to connect to internal wonderings.
So much of my emotional journey is echoed in my process of painting which is not about a predetermined path but rather a meandering wile experience the process of living. When I paint I almost always have many technical unknowns, sometimes the work gets painted over numerous times before an image stays. This comes about as I am constantly searching for tones, colours, marks and subjects that correspond to an emotion that I am feeling strongly at the time.
There are also times when the subconscious elements in the creative process teach and directing, at these times it feels that the process of image making is educating me with life lessons.
“Learning to let go” is a body of work that was open ended in the living, its fruition, a means of accepting the realisation that letting go of what is not understood is an often crucial element in living and painting alike.