Collection: Candice Dawn-Blignaut

"They were here before us - the animals - and we were once them."

Born in Johannesburg in 1974, Candice lives and works in Cape Town.

For an artist whose work is concerned largely with the pursuit of definition, Candice Dawn B. sits uncomfortably with easy classifications. Reluctant to ascribe
unambiguous qualities to her work, she considers it driven as much by passion and intuition as by insight and skill. Strikingly graphic, her canvases are dark yet playful, intricate and unfussy, highly personal as well as satirical.

Multiplicity is also in the charcoal lines that Candice uses to define her subjects. The lines, while confident, are loose; they multiply on themselves. The limited palette of her work - the dramatic charcoal on pale oil and resin backgrounds - serves to accentuate these lines. A leg or snout are not just shapes demarcated by a single stroke, but a series of shifting forms. The edge of the self not being entirely definite means that it is opened up to what is ostensibly separate from itself.

Candice extends her subtly expressive depictions into the animals' environments. Situating her menagerie in an empty room or on a pedestal (created with the addition of just a few lines), she takes them beyond their status as mere symbol. The fact that they are in a man-made place serves as a reminder of what they represent. We are reminded both of the interiority of Candice's explorations and the fact that the birds and beasts are connected to an external world. We cannot hope to define who we are in the absence of context.

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