Nicky is the queen of abstract art in Nam. Her paintings vibrate, shimmer, puzzle and evolve. I haven’t always found them easy to talk to, as they are very different to what usually rings my bell, yet when I take the time to look, breathe, receive; they tend to open up and flower most engagingly.
Nicky gives me hope when I despair at my anorexic creative life. ” When the kids left the house I took up where I left off and I’m having a blast!!” I sigh and she gives me a huge, cheering wink…
She’s a whirlwind of busyness, actively managing the local art college as HOD, supporting art associations, promoting young artists, opening exhibitions, as well as fiddling- in her words- with her masters degree. Where most people complain or resign themselves to insufferable circumstances, -and believe me Namibian circumstances could erode the most positive attitude-Nicky finds a way to make things happen. Her witty and wise humour never fails to uplift and inspire. In short, she’s everything an artist could possibly be!
“Local is lekker” is Namibian and South African slang for local is great, nice, tasty !:)
All artworks copyright Nicky Marais
My development as an artist features several influential artists, the most instrumental among them my painting lecturer Johann Louw. During the two years that he guided my student efforts, I learnt how to handle criticism, believe in my style, and to know what great painting looks like by his example. Plus he was funny, in a dada kind of way as we often didn’t get his humour…only now do I fully appreciate his quirky and irreverent character!
He has since achieved international success, with a string of solo shows at leading South African Galleries, as well as shows in New York, Germany, and Australia. His paintings are powerful and layered statements , impacting on many psychological and emotional levels. I find them hypnotic, disturbing, mind-altering- a great muse!!
All images copyright Johann Louw
Imke and I theoretically live in the same city, although she’s recently forsaken sunshine and wide open spaces to spend time in Berlin, following her heart and her art 😉
I miss having her around to talk shop and bemoan the struggles encountered in our local art scene. Imke makes a mean vegetarian chilli, and is the most even-tempered artist I know. I suspect this trait has got her further in her career than a lot of the more moody and outrageous artists out there, and boy those still waters do paint some dark depths!
She’s a very talented artist who’s had a lot of success already, and she’s only getting better and going bigger. A gallery in Berlin will be hosting her next exhibition in 2012. Yay!
Check out her site: imkerust.com
All artwork by Imke Rust
“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work and the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will, through work, bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never dream up if you were just sitting around looking for a great art idea. And that a belief in that the process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel everyday. Today you know what you will do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday and tomorrow you are going to do what you did today and at least for a certain period of time if you can just work to hang in there, you will get somewhere.”