KKNK (Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees)
Oudtshoorn, Western Cape
29 March – 4 April 2018
Elfriede Dreyer, Green fire, 2018. Mixed media on canvas, 1210 x 1830mm
My work Green fire was produced for the Vuurdans as a main exhibition at the KKNK, of which I was the invited curator.
In this work I depict my personal interpretation of the real event of the devastation brought by the Great Fire of June 2017 in the Garden Route, Western Cape. I lost my entire home and its contents in the fire. The title of Green fire refers to the hybridisation of the green pastural environment and its consumption and destruction by the raging fire.
Using a pouring and excavation technique I attempted to produce an image of liquidity. I deliberately deconstructed landscape painting into a gestural idiom whereby the horizon line and recognisable form disintegrate into expressive abstraction. This was a conscious choice in order to attempt to express the horror and trauma of the incident.
My intention was to demonstrate how fire can take everything - including metal, glass and porcelain - from a solid state to a liquid or ashen state. My work comments on life as liminal time and fragile. I created a conceptual colour mix of utopian green and dystopian grey/brown. An alchemical sense of colour usage has been applied that defers and challenges structural and elemental purity and simplicity as proposed by Enlightenment and utopian systems of thinking. In the latter schemes there is usually a simple blueprint for how the world works or how it should work, comprising simplistic solutions for complex situations. Our own South African apartheid legislation was good example thereof.