April 28, 2003 - Comments Off on Jill Trappler

Jill Trappler

Of this exhibition Trappler says: “It is difficult to find a painting that has life, where light sits inside the paint. In these paintings you either “get it” or you don’t. This is how they were made. The viewer is a continuation of the experience- a place of engagement, creating an intimacy with a curious object.

Paintings need to be curious objects so that I am surprised by their newness and enjoy their humour, something complex, yet expressed simply and economically. Eliminating habit. There are many things along the way that interest me, but I decided to put them aside and not be distracted as I wanted to work closely with the weight of paint, the density, how it holds the surface and how it moves the eye.

Paint is intimate and familiar; it keeps changing, each colour demanding attention. The content determines scale and I wait to see if the surface moves, moves the eye and moves the heart. Each painting is about one thing, one thing only. A painting made from paint and canvas, a symphony made by a teaspoon on a tin cup.

Each painting is an event, a performance. I dress for it, I prepare the paint and tools, I work and I clean up. If is not there the next day I start again and, if it is, it looks at me. It usually works if it is unasked for, (it will probably then also survive). The decisions during the performance are about relationships and lightness, in hue and feeling. This affects the way I touch the colour. I feel the palpitation. It has an effect on me. The surface must move. With the movement I am looking for equilibrium. The colour has found a place and it has reality because it is visceral, it has sensation. The canvas can hold the moment.

There is no under painting, (all painting carries the same attention). Each try happens once and becomes an experience, a movement within a symphony. It has a life, because of paint. During the performance the content is determined.

It is the interior view that will hold the eye, the interior light that the paint holds. In the end most of these images are bigger than the actual canvases. They are experiences from the visual world, but they are not only experienced by sight.

What interests me is that the paintings that work were all made just before I was going to give up on them. I was prepared to lose everything, and then they were there. One painting will talk to other paintings, about painting. I would like to talk about painting with painting.”

Born in Benoni, South Africa, in 1957, Trappler studied art with Bill Ainslie at the Johannesburg Art Foundation and through UNISA. A weaver by profession, she has spent her adult life teaching Drawing and Painting in a variety of institutions ranging from Fuba and CAP to Baragwanath Hospital, as well as from a ship and at home.

She initiated and facilitated the formation of craft, printing and weaving employment projects for women in Crossroads and Khayelitsha, as well as the papier mache project for Wola Nani. For many years she served as the administrator of the Thupelo Workshops, regional and international, many of which she facilitated and co-ordinated. Currently, she is a trustee of Thupelo. She also founded the Dorman Street Art Studio, the Valkenberg Studios and later the Greatmore Street Studios in Woodstock, of which she is a trustee.

Since 1996 she has served on the committee of AVA as vice-chairperson and Artreach convenor, and as chair since 2000. In 2000 she was invited to lecture at the Summer and Winter Schools of the University of Cape Town, repeated in 2001 and again in 2002 and 2003.

Trappler began exhibiting in the late 1970s on group and Thupelo exhibitions in South Africa and abroad, in Germany, France, New York, Australia, Uganda, Luxembourg and Switzerland. She has held five one-person exhibitions. This will be her sixth. Her work is represented in numerous private collections around the world and in a variety of public and corporate art collections locally, including those of the South African National Gallery, the SABC, Investec and Vodacom.

She lives and works as a full-time professional artist in Cape Town.

There is no under painting, (all painting carries the same attention). Each try happens once and becomes an experience, a movement within a symphony. It has a life, because of paint. During the performance the content is determined.

It is the interior view that will hold the eye, the interior light that the paint holds.
In the end most of these images are bigger than the actual canvases. They are experiences from the visual world, but they are not only experienced by sight.

What interests me is that the paintings that work were all made just before I was going to give up on them. I was prepared to lose everything, and then they were there.
One painting will talk to other paintings, about painting. I would like to talk about painting with painting.”

Untitled

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Published by: AVA Admin in Exhibitions, Past