|A Dozen Shades of Colour14 August to 12 September 2014
The Omba Gallery featured a unique exhibition of Betsie van Rensburg’s paintings and ceramics. A Dozen Shades of Colour includes sabout 20 paintings and nearly 40 ceramic pieces.
The paintings portraed the Namibian wildlife, but focussing more on expressing the mood and atmosphere of the situation. Betsie works mostly in acrylic in bold strokes creating realistic-impressionistic images. A Dozen Shades of Colour is especially derived from the vibrant colours in her ceramics. Working mainly in stoneware which limits colours because of the high firing range (1 260˚C), she is excited at what she created for this exhibition.
Born in 1950 and grew up in Hartswater in RSA, Betsie’s ceramics hobby began way back in 1985 in Bloemfontein. In 1993 she returned to Namibia with her Namibian born husband. She attended pottery workshops held by the Potters’ Association of Namibia, but her hobby only got more direction after moving to Swakopmund in 2004 where she started Guesthouse Fischreiher. It was also then that she attended painting classes and discovered a love for this art form. The inspiration she derived from the untouched Namibian environment played a role in the realisation of her longstanding dream to change her hobby into her work.
Betsie started to take part in group exhibitions in Swakopmund and Windhoek. She also was an exhibiter at the Omaruru Artist Trail the past two years. Betsie is now a full time ceramist and painter, working part time in their guesthouse in Swakopmund.
This self-taught artist says: ‘I indulge with my hands and emotions into wet clay, throwing on the wheel, building with slabs, decorating in a wide variety of ways, building up to the excitement of opening the kiln at the end of the whole long process. It is a lonely road, because you work on your own, but I don’t mind, because the enjoyment when someone else looks at my work, touches it and smiles inwardly on it, is my optimal reward. I can talk endlessly about ceramics, what and how I do what.’
About her paintings, she says: ‘My paintings are a different story! I am much more ‘touchy’ about them, because each one takes something of my soul with them. My favourite colour is the evening light and dust created by animals and people. I grew up on a small farm and until this day the evening light, voices of animals and people going to their shelters, smelling the evening fires, hearing the dogs and birds calling before night fall, are still very special to me. ’
The exhibition is part of the Bank Windhoek Arts Festival.