Lee-Ann Heath: Tele-Pollination
“I draw my inspiration from my direct surroundings and imagination.
It has always been an obsession and challenge to find the fine balance between glazed thin applied surfaces contrasted with thick impasto application without compromise. My style of painting is an accumulation of years of experimentation.
My current landscape paintings consist of 8 large canvasses identical in size which in itself forms a large landscape. These landscapes are gateways open to interpretation. I call it “Tele-Pollination”. This to me is an amalgamation of teleport and pollination. It seemed fitting because there is a definite cross-pollination that takes place during my painting process.
My method of achieving the desired result varies. My choice of medium is oil because I can simulate sensation. Using syringes, palette knives and brushes I create the desired effect. I also grind and mix my own paint to expand my colour palette.
At present, I start with a sky backdrop to create a required mood that would in turn ignite momentum for what’s to follow.
I would start perhaps by making a particular flower my main character and build the rest of the narrative around that. This often changes as the process unfolds. The cross-pollination of colour, form and texture is a spontaneous process. When the intentional meets the unintentional I have my ‘ahaa’ moment.”
Born in 1975 in Durban, South Africa, Lee-Ann Heath’s lush botanical paintings stem from her love for impasto oil paint, nature and connection. Using her surroundings as a point of departure, Heath draws on inspiration both natural and relational. Lee-Ann Heath’s desire is to recreate, analyse and deconstruct sensation.
When working with such thick paint, the challenge of finding the right balance between confident brush and palette knife strokes and moments of vulnerability becomes integral to Heath’s process, with the continuous rearrangements of colours and forms lifting and enhancing each other, layer upon layer. The work reflects an obsessive urge to find the right combination of colour, line and shape. As Heath explains: “I find the elements of surprise and unexpected accidental moments exciting, and when the accidental meets the intentional it often leads to the identity of the work coming unto its own.”
The canvas has the noticeable touch of her hand, where the thickly layered paint has been moved around in a sensuous manner by her palms or fingers. This technique gives the images a three dimensional, nearly culinary quality, the paint with an appearance like icing on a cake… almost good enough to eat. This invitation to an intense sensory interaction is carried through all the pieces, making the artwork massively tactile and dynamic.
Lee-Ann Heath: Tele-Pollination runs until 12 September 2021 at Everard Read Franschhoek.
January 21, 2022
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