MARITHA VAN AMEROM COETZEE
“I am a South African born artist with European roots. My earliest memories as young artist transport me back to my German grandmother, a Fine Art Graduate from the University of Graz. Apart from input from numerous well-known artists throughout my career, my Grandmother’s passion for art can still be singled out as one of the biggest influences in my love for art.
My fascination with the human body, its form, shape, reaction to elements like gravity or age is the basis from which I work. The most intriguing is the underlying, often invisible emotion inside that body, which translates and becomes alive through hands, posture, eyes, movement – sometimes just the slightest frown or the way the body supports the angle of the head. I view the human body and Mother Nature as the two best teachers one can find – working with life, in the form of flesh and all things natural, provide a bottomless well of opportunity, growth and discovery. Having a Master’s degree in Psychology, my focus was, for a long time, on what is going on inside the mind. After I made the shift from psychologist to full time artist, I enjoyed integrating my previous field of expertise with that which I physically observe. It is the finer nuances, the state of mind of the person, their past experience and their emotional make-up that provides the necessary essence needed to take an ordinary picture and create an extraordinary story.
When it comes to my style, I believe ‘less is more’. I like word play when it comes to the titling of my work and I would often leave parts of the work underdone, allowing the viewer to complete the story of their current space of being. The most important thing to me as an artist, apart from technical skill, is honesty.
I need to be true to myself and to my work, bold enough to explore, unravel and discover – and at the end of the day courageous enough to share that with the world. I experience the translucency of ink as a very honest medium. Often the real challenge lies in the ability to see the emotional and the imperceptible, and to give it form, life and a sense of tangibility.”