Guest Contributor | Feb 27, 2024 | 0
“Desert Songs” exhibition opens at Swakopmund Fine Art Gallery
By Adolf Kaure.
The works of Namibian artist Johanneke Strydom are now on display at the Swakopmund Fine Art Gallery as part of the “Desert Songs” exhibition.
Gallery owner, Martina von Wenzel, said “Desert Songs” is not just an exhibition but a special melody of the desert. “In this collection, Namibia comes to life in the vibrant strokes of oils, each piece telling a story of the vast open spaces and unique beauty that define this remarkable country.”
“It’s an immersion into the soul of Namibia. It is a treasure for those who choose to adorn their homes with these unique pieces,” said von Wenzel.
Johanneke Strydom is one of the few artists who practices plain air painting, a method that brings an unparalleled authenticity to her pieces.
She ventures into the middle of nowhere alone, armed only with her easel and palette, preparing for this very exhibition. Her favoured medium is oils, and she masterfully limits her working colours to red, blue, and yellow, creating nuanced shades that are uniquely her own.
Strydom’s artworks are a celebration of vibrancy, releasing a wave of joy and emotion to those who admire them. They go beyond mere representation and embody the sincere beauty of Namibia, expertly captured in the most exquisite colours.
“The intensity of oil paint, loose brush marks and palette knife work gives me a way to respond in a direct and honest way to what I witness and what I see. I am trying to capture the essence of what is in front of me in that moment, and hope to stir those elusive emotions that I feel, in the viewer,” said Strydom.
Johanneke Strydom’s story began on the banks of the Zambezi River in 1974, where she grew up in the wild outdoors of the Caprivi strip (now known as the Zambezi Region), as the daughter of a Zoologist.
Nature had a huge impact on her soul and raw wildness that urged her to capture something of the beauty on canvas. She has taken part in various solo exhibitions from 1992 to date in Namibia, South Africa as well as online exhibitions.
Her most notable accolade was to receive two commended awards and one highly commended award in the oil category at the 114th SASA (South African Society of Artists) Annual Competition in Cape Town in 2021.
Johanneka Strydom’s vibrant Springbokkies oil on canvas. (Photograph courtesy of the artist)