Dimensions: 38.3cm (H) x 30cm (W) x 3.8cm (D) / 15.1" (H) x 11.8" (W) x 1.5" (D)
Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.
This artwork was created during the initial stages of lockdown. During this time I experienced extreme panic and confusion regarding the present and the future. It felt like I was moving in all directions and at the same time not moving at all. Contained in the floating panic of uncertainty.
At the same time, I also experienced the realization that many other people were sharing this panic - a combined, shared panic - all at the same time. This realisation was profound. When, if ever, have people across the globe had the same experience all at the same time. And when, if ever, would this happen again?
I wanted to capture the panic. Depicting the emotional trepidation simulataniously felt by humanity.
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Hometown: Cape Town
Based in: South Africa
South African artist Jo Roets's background is in the film industry where she worked in the art department. She also had a fulltime lecturing career, lecturing in painting, prosthetics, special effects, props fabrication, sculpting, mould-making and casting at a multimedia film school. In 2017, after 14 years as a senior lecturer, Jo exchanged her lecturing cap for that of a full time artist.
Jo is a recovering alcoholic. Her courage to embrace sobriety and follow her creative drive are deeply intertwined. In the early days of her recovery program Jo met a diverse range people from all walks of life - all with the same condition. Her work is born from a profound recognition that although our circumstances differ, essentially we all share a common humanity. Her artworks are a deep celebration of this recognition.
Her abstract works conceived in ecru, ivory and earth tones, show the inspiration of patterns and shapes found in the visually and symbolically rich cultures of indigenous South Africans. They seamlessly incorporate elements from the visual symbols found in the wall paintings and beadwork of the Ndebele, Islamic prayer mats, the marital aprons of isiXhosa, Zulu earplugs and beer pots, the spiritual patterns of sacred geometry, sewing and crocheting techniques associated with her own Afrikaans culture and elements from her Portuguese ancestry.
While the cultures may be very different they all share a strong sense of the geometric. Jo’s focus and challenge is finding the similarity in diversity and to take these disparate threads and combine them in a unique way.
She calls her artworks "light relief". The way Jo has used this medium is unique. The artworks are created from an air-drying clay medium which is rolled out to a paper -thin thickness to create delicate bass reliefs. Using unusual sculpting tools such as toothpicks and needles, she scores the damp surface with indents, holes and incisions. Part of her creative challenge is to push the medium to its breaking point, encouraging it to warp in the process.
In 2018, Jo's work was selected for three other prominent art competitions:
Sasol New Signatures, Pretoria Art Museum (finalist); Tollman Bouchard Finlayson Art Award Barrel Head Exhibition, Hermanus (finalist) and Vuleka, Art.B Gallery, Bellville (finalist).
She was announced as the winner of the inaugural StateoftheART Gallery Award in 2018 and had her first solo exhibition in May 2019 at StateoftheART Gallery.
Her work has been exhibited at a long list of galleries, including SMAC, Stateofthe ART, Rust & Vrede, Art.B, GUS, Imibala, Nel, Art Afrique, Breytenbagh Gallery, No End Contemporary, Art@Africa, Johann van Heerden, Art on Avenues, Christo Coetzee Museum, AVA and Trent Gallery. Apart from participation at gallery exhibitions, her work has also been exhibited at festivals in South Africa. These include, KKNK, Hermanus FynArts Festival, US Woordfees and Tulbagh Arts Festival.
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