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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

JACKI BRUNIQUEL (article first published : 2008-03-21)

An exhibition of mixed media artworks by Jacki Bruniquel is currently running in the new gallery at the George Hotel in Eshowe.

“Appalled by the rigorous plans of developers around my hometown Umdloti beach and a seemingly inevitable future of less green space, I began to document its’ cane fields and natural spaces with my camera,” explains Jacki Bruniquel.

“The areas around Umdloti are rich with bird, animal and plant life. A migratory barnyard swallow population of over 1.5 million roost in the marshes of Mount Moreland. This is where the government will build its new airport.

“it seems obvious to me that the over-development of the Natal North Coast will negatively impact the environment and ultimately society at large. Yet developers seem to be unleashed and unstoppable with little regard to notions of sustainable development. By walking through the green spaces with my camera I was in a sense remembering a history, a landscape that will no longer be there in the future. I used these photographs as a basis for rich mixed media works using a combination of painting, collage and photography.

“My friend and mentor, artist, Peter Engblom is currently redesigning the George Hotel in Eshowe which is nestled between cane fields and forest. Whilst visiting him there, I felt a deep sense of resonance with the town and surrounding landscapes. This sense of familiarity relates to my growing up in a house on a sugar cane farm near Mandini and the countless hours spent playing in the cane, forest and fig trees.

“It was here in Eshowe that I realized that my photographs and mixed media paintings of Umdloti are not only about documenting a landscape soon to become memory but also an unrealized exploration of my own subconscious and past. Without originally setting out to do so, they are indulgent investigations of my childhood, and a longing for that balanced, carefree existence carried out in nature.

With this new insight and Peter’s encouragement I decided to spend some time in Eshowe painting and first show the resultant body of work at the new gallery in The George Hotel. It will run until the end of March.

Jacki Bruniquel is a Durban based image-maker, a graduate in Fine Art from Michaelis UCT and Photography from the Durban University of Technology. She exhibits her artwork extensively and also freelances as a commercial photographer. More information from Jacki Bruniquel on 082 642 8547 or email: jbruniquel@gmail.com or visit www.jackibruniquel.com




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