International Artist in Residence

Namibian artist, Jacqui Jansen van Vuuren, will be in Port Augusta from 17 – 27 August as an artist in residence.  While here, she will be making a sculpture at the Port Augusta Cultural Centre – Yarta Purtli and the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden.

Jacqui will also be available to meet and chat with local artists and she will be doing a special artist talk at the
Platform Gallery during her stay.

This International Artist Residency is part of the ongoing partnership and art exchange between the Port Augusta Cultural Centre – Yarta Purtli and Namibian not-for-profit, Art South-South Trust.

Full page photo

Artist Talk at Platform Gallery

I was first introduced to clay at the age of 6, when I met my first bag of red terracotta clay in Namibia, where I was born. After several years of pottery courses, workshops by acclaimed potters and artists and ultimately a BA degree cum laude in visual art from the University of Namibia, I think I have found my voice in clay; I do however discover new tones every so often. I have exhibited in several countries and won numerous prizes, from the USA to Europe to Africa. Since 2013 I have been working from my studio in rural Germany, where once the Iron Curtain was. This largely untouched landscape has motivated me to appreciate perfection in nature’s imperfection, forms, fertility and gusto for adaption.

I have found clay to be one of the most profound ways of subtly expressing aspects of my being that I am otherwise not willing to blatantly expose; communicating what is rather obvious, but concealed at the same time. This is never a preconceived notion for me, but rather a combination of techniques that subconsciously manifests into an extension of my being. On a physical note: clay is one of the very few mediums that is rather worthless as a material, but through artistic transformation and the firing process becomes a ceramic object that is everlasting. Lately I have been fascinated by the imperfect and transient nature of clay. This dichotomy makes it the perfect medium for me to celebrate and capture my life, soul and creativity.

PhallusI like to create voluminous forms, like fertility represented in curvaceous hips. The female form embodied generously, but covered in a strong, rough and cracked surface. Like a wise old matriarch elephant; feminine forms that can hold a large volume, inaccessible through a tiny opening or even none at all, making it impossible to fulfill a presumed function. I suppose my main intention with the work is to represent balance: balance in the things that I say and do, with my feelings and emotions, with my appearance and ability, ultimately the person I was and the person I am now.

In the last quarter of 2016 I will move back to Namibia, to establish myself in the Namibian art scene again.