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Ceramics and Arts together at Omba

Full-time artist and part-time restaurateur, Betsie van Rensburg brings her tantalizing ceramics to a Windhoek exhibition.

Full-time artist and part-time restaurateur, Betsie van Rensburg brings her tantalizing ceramics to a Windhoek exhibition.

The Omba Gallery will open a unique exhibition, featuring Betsie van Rensburg’s paintings and ceramics on Thursday, 14 August 2014. The exhibition titled ‘A Dozen Shades of Colour’ will be on view until Sunday, 14 September 2014. The exhibition will include about 20 paintings and nearly 40 ceramic pieces. The paintings portray wildlife, but focus more on expressing the mood and atmosphere of the situation.  Betsie works mostly in acrylic, in bold strokes, creating realistic-impressionistic images. A Dozen Shades of Colour is especially derived from the vibrant colours in her ceramics. Working mainly in stoneware, which limits colours because of the high temperature range (1260˚C), she is excited at what she created for this exhibition.  Betsie was born in 1950 and grew up in Hartswater in South Africa. Her ceramics hobby began way back in 1985 in Bloemfontein. In 1993 she returned to Namibia with her Namibian husband. She attended pottery workshops held by the Potters’ Association of Namibia, but her hobby only got more direction after moving to Swakopmund in 2004, where she established Guesthouse Fischreiher.   It was also then that she attended painting classes and discovered a love for this art form. The inspiration she derived from the untouched Namibian environment played a role in the realisation of her longstanding dream to change her hobby into her work.  Betsie started to take part in group exhibitions in Swakopmund and Windhoek. She also was an exhibitor at the Omaruru Artist Trail for the past two years. Betsie is now a full-time ceramist and painter, working part-time in their guesthouse in Swakopmund. 

The self-taught artist said: “I indulge with my hands and emotions into wet clay, throwing on the wheel, building with slabs, decorating in a wide variety of ways, and building up to the excitement of opening the kiln at the end of the whole long process. It is a lonely road, because you work on your own, but I don’t mind, because the enjoyment when someone else looks at my work, touches it and smiles inwardly on it, is my optimal reward. I can talk endlessly about ceramics, what I do and how I do it.” About her paintings, she adds: “My paintings are a different story.
I am much more ‘touchy’ about them, because each one takes something out of my soul.  My favourite colour is the evening light and dust created by animals and people.
I grew up on a small farm and until this day the evening light, voices of animals and people going to their shelters, smelling the evening fires, hearing the dogs and birds calling before night fall, are still very special to me.” The exhibition forms part of the Bank Windhoek Arts Festival monthly calendar and will be opened by Imke Engelhard on 14 August at 18:30 in the Omba Gallery. Imke is a jewellery designer from Swakopmund and a well-known artist in Namibia and abroad.

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