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POFADDER AND BACK (article first published : 2003-10-8)

Two well-known South African painters, one living in Durban and the other in Cape Town, embarked on a fascinating journey together, culminating in Pofadder and Back an exhibition of new landscape works on show at the NSA Gallery.

Machu Picchu and Timbuctoo are legendary and faraway, but do exist. Shangri-La is legendary and a fantasy. Pofadder may be regarded as a source of jokes, but it is real and a source of wonder for Lize Hugo and Aidan Walsh. They did a giant zigzag circle covering 5,000 kilometres from Cape Town, up the West Coast through Pella, Pofadder, Calvinia, Hope Town, Verneukpan, Niewoudtville, Aughrabies and back. They stayed at strange places and met even stranger people. This is the basis of their exhibition.

Hugo and Walsh have been developing their visual language in parallel fields of painting, drawn from the classical tradition of Western painting. They both persist in an attempt to paint meaningful pictures that solicit identification with, and reflection of the South African situation. Both approach their subject matter with a healthy dose of irony and a shared empathy for the sites visited, and painted.

They travelled for three weeks through the Karoo, documenting their journey through writing, notes, photographs and impressions, which on their return to their respective studios, were developed into the works on exhibition. The final stages of this project allowed for individual approaches to their subject matter to develop. The exhibition has been curated so that the paintings’ installation follows the chronology of their journey, allowing the conversation between these two travellers to continue.

Lize Hugo lives and work in Cape Town, and has exhibited widely in South Africa and abroad. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the South African National Gallery and as Vice-Chair for the Association for Visual Arts. Her work is also represented in numerous public and corporate collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in Miami, the Durban Art Gallery and the Durban Institute of Technology.

Aidan Walsh was born in Durban and trained at the Natal Technical College, and later in London. A professional painter all his adult life, Walsh has also been influential in the South Africa art scene since 1961, as a gallerist and curator. His works are collected in numerous collections (public and private) locally as well as in France, the United Kingdom, India, Australia and New Zealand. He lives and works in Durban.




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