Nicky Marais is a Namibian artist, educator and activist who lives and works in Windhoek. Her 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 Marais 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.
“I love the drama of what happens in the spaces between things, the portals, and the liminality of the in-between. The tenuousness of these joinings. The places and shapes that fascinate me and recur in my work are those that signify a change of state, or a change of being.”
Connections can be viewed online at Artsy. The exhibition is on view at Guns and Rain Gallery. The public is invited to make a real-life COVID-conscious visit to the gallery. Please call to make arrangements.
There is an online exhibition catalogue available.