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Liminality | Kevin Collins | Graham Modern & Contemporary JHB
August 29, 2019 @ 8:00 am - October 19, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
‘LIMINALITY : a series of biographic illustrations’
Liminality refers to the state between conscious (supraliminal) and unconscious (subliminal) which recalls so much of my working process.
Dream, thought and ‘real life’ often intersect in my universe. Accused of not being able to focus at school, my world has never been one of dogged focus with a clear outcome in mind. Long term planning is often what I am going to have for dinner. Today, right now, is very exciting for me – the blank canvas is loaded with possibilities every time.
My world is a curious duality in which conforming has always been incredibly difficult however I am certainly never to be associated with the celebrated myth of the ‘tortured artist’. I paint what I am, which is a really positive, curious and highly personal (but I hope sufficiently universal for anyone to engage) journey. The small items that are embedded in my mind from years ago are still so vivid and vital although others are faded fragments.
To quote Francis Bacon’s words of “courting accidents”, my application of paint and mark making is often spontaneous and not particularly well planned – the joy of accidents in material and mark making is incredibly exciting for me.
I used a rather limited palette of less than 10 colours and would never be able to work without white. White is a crucial colour for me. The glorious pigment of colour comes alive when I add white.
My wonderful tutors from Michaelis School of Art in the 70’s – Stanley Pinker, Gavin Young, Cecil Skotnes, Helmut Starcke – all influenced my work and I will be forever grateful for the privilege of having been taught by them.
The paintings are so often a series of disassociated elements which weave a story of delight and intrigue. I invite you to dip into the works and see the series of contradictions and juxtaposed fragments of my life, past memories and my sense of being African today.
- Kevin Collins
Studying under Stanley Pinker, Helmut Starcke and Cecil Skotnes at Michaelis, UCT, Kevin spent the late seventies specialising in paint. His mentors shaped Kevin’s use of colour, composition and the manner in which his paint is laid down.
Oil on canvas offered Kevin’s work an honest sense of effort, colour subtlety and texture not possible in other mediums. Kevin draws inspiration from youthful memories of travel, the novelty and design of everyday items from years gone by.
Sadly, after graduation, Kevin faded into a career in advertising and brand communication for almost two decades before a health trauma brought him back to painting.
Upon his return he began painting small works, mostly of animals which formed the basis of his first solo show in 2005 titled ‘The Taxonomy of non-endangered Species’. The show was a hit selling 43 of the 50 works on show.
For the past 10 years Stephanie Hoppen, a gallerist in Knightsbridge, London, has travelled to South Africa to buy up all of Kevin’s works. She sells out as soon as she returns. Stephanie now in her 80’s, decided to retire and closed her gallery about 18 months ago.
[Words taken from Graham Modern & Contemporary website: https://www.grahamsgallery.co.za]