‘Cursed Benefits’, from What if the World, was the first work I bought for the apartment – and indeed the first woodcarving I’ve ever purchased. I was a gymnast, so related instantly to the movement. I also love the texture, and the work has been meticulously carved to give it depth. Another theme in the art studio is the use of bright colours. I was inspired to make this work the focal point of the room. Born in KwaZulu-Natal, Luthuli works mainly in carved wooden reliefs and woodcut prints. I’ve found that your choice of art changes as you develop as a person. Mine certainly has – I had a strong emotional attraction to this work.
The ink drawings by Barrydale artist, Stephen Allwright, are whimsical and poignant but also irreverent and playful. Particularly striking is ‘Headdress and Faint Mouth’, in watercolour, ink and pencil on paper. The two above the bed are ‘The Virgin Tipsy’ and ‘The Leopard’.
John Murray has been a favourite artist of mine for many years. I have his collages – love them as they fit any space – his portraits, and his abstract works. I just love their textured, colourful-yet-muted colours. I have to stop myself from buying him as I could literally buy all his work from What if the World! Just below Murray’s collages and above the television, I have two Gregory Olympio portraits (‘Femme Fond Rouge’ and ‘Sans Titre (Homme Souple’), both from Blank gallery. They are small but eye-catching.
And the two colourful oils in the second bedroom?
These are both by a very exciting young female artist, Nadeeha Mohamed, from What if the World. I believe she is going to be well received around the world, and I especially like to support women artists. ‘Laughter and Tears, a Pair of Parentheses’ (the teacup) and ‘Maybe We Will Wake Up Singing’ are both recent works in oil on canvas.
I have, historically, liked thick oil brush strokes and mainly figurative work. But over the years, my taste has developed and widened to include other mediums and abstract work. I’ve always loved texture and fabrics, like the woven fabric installation hanging over the kitchen, which is an Igshaan Adams’s ‘Stam’ from Blank Projects and Athi-Patra Ruga’s ‘Exile is When We Forget’, a tapestry near the central island.
This Capetonian is another young, happy, fun artist. I love his loose brush strokes, especially in this bright yellow piece. He has a playful irreverence, which I enjoy. I’ve also got ‘Last One Standing’ hanging on the back of my front door.
Buy what you love! Trust your emotions. Because if you feel a strong emotion, someone else will too. Don’t think about it too much. Trust what your internal world is telling you.
I’ve been collecting contemporary art for the past seven years and can see how, along the way, my eye for art has changed and got more sensitive. Art is a universal symbolic language, and anyone can speak that language if they have access to their emotions. Art is about psychology and emotion. It’s an expression of the artist’s inner world. I tend to buy strong work and even sometimes confronting work. I’m always interested to see the reactions to confrontational work. What I’m after is a strong emotional reaction – pleasant or unpleasant.
I often ask my children’s friends which artwork they don’t like. Kids are close to their emotions, so their answers are always very honest … and sometimes quite hilariously unedited, which is so refreshing.
I bought the Tom Cullberg, hanging above the mirror, from Elana Brundyn when she was running Brundyn Gallery in Cape Town. It was one of my first contemporary pieces.
I only ever live with high ceilings and always start with a bland canvas – all white walls – and then decorate with art and loose fabrics and textiles, such as Igshaan Adams. His work divides the room but also fills the height of room – then you see the height. If you’re lucky enough to have height, I think it makes sense to use it. 1 or 6