Shany van den Berg: Dream Pond
From October 18 to November 9, 2019, Everard Read will present Dream Pond by South African artist, Shany van den Berg.
Focusing on contemporary portraiture and figurative work, with an underlying theme of womanhood, Van den Berg, creates artworks on canvas, board and found objects as well as drawings, sculpture and site-specific installations. These all serve as gateways to narratives of sacrifice, struggle and ultimately transcendence.
A sense of layering pervades van den Berg’s works, in the imagery itself and through her painterly process. Surfaces are built up of swathes, not painted onto the board but rather, absorbed into it. Shadows are imbued with texture and skins exude an almost viscous sheen. Although unmistakably feminine, some of her forms evoke a sense of animalism through their attenuated bone structure, and an underlying sexuality pervades many of the forms. They suggest recognition, confirmation and the bittersweet knowledge of love, loss and letting go.
For her first solo exhibition at Everard Read London, Van den Berg presents Dream Pond, a new body of work inspired by water and imagery of water lilies, rising up from muddy waters, as a metaphor for rebirth.
Van den Berg was selected as one of 50 finalists for the BP Portrait Awards show at the National Portrait Gallery, London in 2016, 2010 and 2009. In 2016, she was the runner-up for the BP Portrait Travel Award. Her work is represented in private collections in South Africa, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, United Kingdom and United States of America.
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