I was well schooled in the Afrikaans tradition, while our parents rooted us (three children), in their own ‘Montessori’ version for education, with a legal and academic mix. It was a happy, creative and active youth, urbanites aware of nature. My own three children got another variable of the same.
Preparation for my career was in my post-graduate years (1970’s and 80’s) at the Universities of Pretoria and Cape Town in both History of Art and Sculpture; the periods at the SA National Gallery in Cape Town as professional officer and educational officer, set me on my creative path. Its international Touch Gallery, taught and learned me about creativity through the sense of touch. Even today I want to work 3-dim. and directly with my hands without tools as far as possible. The “First Roar” by Steyn originated here.
An opportunity in 1968 to develop a job creating tile factory, Decoramics, affiliated to Blakes Bricks, du Toit Station, Stellenbosch at the very beginning of a booming tile industry, had to be forfeited after 1972 for the sake of a partners’ excellent job offer nearly two thousand km away. Becoming the mother to three children then took priority. Eventually also community work took attention and gave joy. Writing articles on art, craft and interiors for a magazine and later art ”crits” for a daily newspaper were done part time. Nevertheless was I able during these years to get some history of artwork published, create some works of art and build up a design portfolio.
A Book for example was written by me on “Pranas Domsaitis/Franz Domscheit” (1980 -1965), a Lithuanian /East-Prussian refugee painter, acknowledged in Germany as an unique Soul-Impressionist(1920). Domsaitis’ art reflects a spirituality, attributed to some Christians in Lithuania; imbued the South African landscape with new light and meaning. The book was published in 1976 by Struik, Cape Town, South Africa as Domsaitis spent his last and best ten art years in South Africa. The complete second edition of the book was paid for by the Lithuanian Foundation in Chicago, USA. The timing seems now right for me to publish a second and more comprehensive book. I have the material. Having written on an European influenced artist, I hope to publish in future a book on the South African born and bred “God-carver” sculptor, Jackson Hlungwani (b.1923-)”, from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province.
THEMART: The signature one my later art. For the last twelve years, it became possible to regularly exhibit my works of art nationally (eg. Irma Stern, Cape Town, 1994; Dorpstreet Gallery, Stellenbosch,1990; University of Pretoria) and now and occasionally in other countries (eg. Coburg, Germany in 1987; Tokio, Japan in 1997).
AMBASSA is the registered trademark for designs with an ambassadorial flavour to promote South Africa.