SYNDI KAHN: Holding Pattern
Dec 3 – Dec 31, 2021
‘I was a pebble. I was a leaf. I was the jagged branch of a tree. I was nothing to them and they were everything to me.’
― Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
In this body of work, which comprises ten oil paintings on paper, I have endeavoured to make a conscious shift from creating a pristine canvas to a more tactile, textured approach to painting.
Since making a move with my family away from the city to the countryside at the beginning of the year, I started to take more notice of the microcosm of abundant nature – in particular fynbos – that now surrounds me every day.
At first, plants, trees, flowers, nature completely overwhelmed my senses. As a visual artist, they permeated my observations. Then slowly, in photographing my surroundings every day, I eagerly started noting more and more their precise detail and organic beauty. This was for me not only in the grand scope of nature but in the smallest elements. In turn, the changes the seasons bring with them have been profound. This awareness started to inform the direction of my work as a natural progression.
Through these paintings my ambition has been to hone in on the essence of what I was observing and responding to when I photographed. By taking it out of the realm of pure mimesis, by abstracting the subject matter with an intensity of colour and focus, my hope is to entice the viewer to see the content in a different way.
My fascination with and the utter pleasure derived from the environment that I see every day has informed this body of work and will continue to inspire me further with its ever-changing shifts and cycles.