Connections, 2020

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Nicky Marais

Connections 30th July - 2nd August 2020

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CONNECTIONS A solo exhibition by Nicky Marais (Namibia), in collaboration with StArt Art Gallery

Nicky Marais' recent paintings on paper continue her iterative process of image making, focusing on liminal space and its signifiers. She works quickly with acrylic and ink on paper, building up and layering shapes. In this labour intensive process she often works on multiple pieces at once, resulting in paintings that capture movement and transience. These works are dense with careful mark making. Strong lines intersect with delicate brushwork to build complex, largely abstract images. However, there is also a determined simplicity to the forms at play. Each shape is pared down and abstracted to an archetype of itself. Mundane, everyday shapes like tunnels and turnstiles are treated with the same vigour and obsession as sites of spiritual intensity, like temples and graves. These are some of the objects and sites that Marais has drawn on to create this body of work. The graphic quality of her paintings derives from stencils that are used multiple times, focussing on both positive and negative space. Each piece forms part of a broad vocabulary of structures that speak to her current preoccupation with sites of connection.

In the ‘Grave Spaces’ series, there is a distinct melancholy relayed in muted colours and tones that contrast with the jubilance of the ‘Raining’ series. While graves offer a place at which to commune with loved ones, there is also an absence inherent in their signification.


Likewise rain also opens up a direct link between two entities, in this case the earth and the sky. Namibia’s desert environment is particularly vulnerable to drought and a good rainy season is cause for celebration. Life is sustained through this tenuous connection.

Marais’ temple symbols similarly engage a relationship between the physical and spiritual: places of worship, prayer, devotion. The temple symbol is almost always used along with its reflection, creating a mirror of itself, signifying both external spaces and the inner space of reflection. In this form, the temple is sedentary and almost completely abstracted. The images of turnstiles, on the other hand, maintain a representational quality and are imbued with movement. Movement between spaces, places and states of being- bureaucratic buildings and outdoor parks. Movement is controlled and monitored - it is personal and political. In the same vein, Marais’ Portals series focuses on tunnel shapes. However, through layering and her use of colour, she creates blockage as well as movement. To what extent are we able to truly connect? says Marais,

Marais has exhibited extensively in Namibia and abroad. 'Connections' is her latest solo exhibition after ‘Presence in Absence’, held at the National Art Gallery of Namibia in 2017. She is recently retired from an eleven year posting as the Head of Department of Visual Arts at the College of the Arts in Windhoek.

julie@gunsandrain.com

www.gunsandrain.com


Turnstile Gate II 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper

297 x 420mm (A3)

Turnstile Gate I 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm 4


Turnstile 1 & 2 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 297 x 420 mm (A3) Sold as a pair 5


Grave Spaces I 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on recycled cotton rag paper 420 x 297 mm (A3)

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Grave Spaces II 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on recycled cotton rag paper 420 x 297 mm (A3)

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Grave Spaces III 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on recycled cotton rag paper 420 x 297 mm (A3)

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Turnstile Couple II 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 420 x 594 mm (A2) 10


Turnstile Couple I 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 420 x 594 mm (A2) 11


Green Turnstile 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420mm (A2) 12


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In Between 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

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Connecting I 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

Connecting II 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm 15


Portal I 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

Portal II 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

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Portal III 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

Portal IV 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

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Substrate I, II and III 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 297 x 210 mm (A4) each 18


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Beginning I and II 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 210 x 297 mm (A4) each 20


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Pods I 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

Pods II 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

Pods III 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

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Gathering I and II 2020 Acrylic and ink on paper 210 x 297 mm (A4) each

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Changes 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420 mm (A2) 24


Pink Pods I, II, III & IV 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on recycled cotton rag paper

297 x 210 mm (A4) 25


Connections I 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420 mm (A2)

Connections V 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420 mm (A2)

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Connections III 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420 mm (A2)

Connections VII 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420 mm (A2)

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Connections IV 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420 mm (A2)

Connections VI 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420 mm (A2)

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Connections II 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420 mm (A2) 29


Temples 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 295 x 295 mm

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Barred Gate 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 295 x 295 mm 31


Temple 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on recycled cotton rag paper 420 x 297 mm (A3) 32


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Still Graves 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 594 x 420mm (A2) 34


Green Graves 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper, 420 x 594mm (A2) 35


Raining I 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 420 x 594mm (A2) 36


Raining II 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 420 x 594mm (A2) 37


Raining III 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 420 x 594mm (A2) 38


Raining IV 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 420 x 594mm (A2) 39


Raining V 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 420 x 594mm (A2) 40


Blue Rain 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper 510 x 655 mm 41


Big Rain, 2020 Acrylic and acrylic ink on paper, 560 x 760mm

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