Thea Soggot: Earth, Light & Water

Thea Soggot: Earth, Light & Water - Omenka Online

From June 24 to July 17, 2021, Everard Read Johannesburg will present Thea Soggot’s solo exhibition Earth, Light & Water.

Thea Soggot was born in Johannesburg. She completed her Fine Art degree at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she was twice awarded the Henri Lidchi prize for drawing in 1978 and 1979. After completing her degree, Soggot worked as a graphic designer, while also working on commissions and continuing her art practice. In the early 1990s, Soggot taught at the Johannesburg Art Gallery and was a member of the Market Gallery Advisory Board. From 1992-1993, she spent eight months at the Cité Internationale des Arts. On her return, she started to exhibit internationally. Since then, Soggot has been practicing as an artist and teaches from her studio.

Soggot has always concerned herself with the human figure. For the first fifteen years as an artist, she confined herself to a monochromatic range using charcoal and graphite. She started working with earth sourced from the Magaliesberg around 1995.

As this earth is high in iron oxide, it stains and penetrates the paper in a way that unpigmented earth would not – a process that has been compared with fresco painting, where the ground receives and comes to embody the pigment rather than just carry it on the surface.

Soggot continues to be drawn to the unpredictable quality of earth as a material, which introduces an element of chance into her work. The colour and luminosity of the earth also lend Soggot’s forms a sculptural, monumental quality. While the red earth distinctly evokes the surrounding areas of where she lives, she also uses it metaphorically and evocatively for its colour and textures – referencing an organic human connection to nature; sometimes suggestive of blood, even of burial; the earth from which each of us has emerged and to which we will each return.

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