Colijn Strydom – “Thinly Veiled Self Portraits”

Colijn lives in Cape Town where he lectures at Ruth Prowse School of Art. Underneath you will find his summary of the exhibition. He will be present at the exhibition to exchange ideas.

“Thinly veiled self-portraits” brings together paintings in which I took on various alter egos. The principal identity I played with was that of David Beresford Pratt, the unsuccessful would-be assassin of H.F. Verwoerd. I resonated with Pratt’s efforts to come to terms with his ethical and personal struggles and as a result there are quite a few works that revolve around him. His epileptic visions at sunset became a motif and for the duration of a painting I attempted to be the Woman who is Dressed in the Sun – a vision from Revelations. The pious man struck down by Death’s arrow in Giovanni di Paolo’s “Death in a Landscape” was next and finally I turned into Anne Boleyn’s mythical sixth finger.

According to Paul Ricoeur, the shortest route from the self to the self is through the other. Identity is fragile and porous, and an act of imaginative understanding can be transformative. To try to understand the other is to be compassionate and, possibly, to allow oneself to become something new. In making these paintings I was trying to understand something about the world, how I relate to it, and hopefully, how I could shift my understanding of what I can be to relate to it in different, more productive ways.

Location: 18 Silvela Road, Sandown Estate, Johannesburg
Start Time: 15h00
Date: 2021/05/08 – 2021/05/28
Duration: The exhibition can be viewed any time, any day by appointment. Contact the gallery for an appointment.

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