Artists: Dee Donaldson

Based in Durban, Dee studied at KwaZulu-Natal Technikon where she won an H.S.R.C. bursary, the Reeves Prize for painting and the prestigious Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship, before graduating with a National Higher Diploma in Fine Art. After her first, sell-out, solo exhibition, ‘Journeys’ (NSA Gallery, Durban), Dee’s scholarship took her abroad, where she studied and exhibited at the Cite Internationale Des Arts, Paris, France as well as the International Oasis Gallery in Savannah, Georgia, USA. Since returning to South Africa, Dee has exhibited extensively, in the company of such esteemed artists as Dianne Victor, Chris Diedericks, Virginia MacKenny, Bronwyn Vaughn-Evans and Grace Kotze.

“I suppose contemporary, figurative painting is a way of describing it. I work in oil mostly, although I do dabble in other media. Artists often find it difficult to describe their own work, especially stylistically. This has, historically, been more the arena of critics and academics. I’m a painter. Painting is how I express myself.  I’ll leave it up to those with the gift of words to describe, define or create labels for my work.

I guess what drives me to create is a search for a visual “language” that will best communicate what I need to communicate at a given time. This language is continually evolving as I progress. I use images symbolically at times and sometimes simply representation-ally. I have always been fascinated with different visual planes and layering. This is something that we take for granted in film and digital media; I’m drawn to exploring this on canvas. I love the physicality of painting and the tangibility of paint.” Dee

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