Staša Hlava is a contemporary artist working out of a studio in Somerset West. Her practice is eclectic and has spanned over 20 years starting in graphic design and moving across into fine art. Her current work can be seen as an investigation into pluralism found in post digital aesthetics. Staša’s work is academically driven but occasionally a painting of a flower or two has to be thrown into the mix just because she has a fondness for the fragile things.
A bit about my work:
I am an eclectic artist who picks out mediums to suit a topic I’m interested in exploring. One year I might be making life size sculptures out of recycled plastic and the next I’m making miniature watercolours or painting directly onto photographs. I love experimenting in new media but always return to oil painting. Oil painting has a pull and the medium is so comfortable to me. It’s like hanging out with an old friend. I also use oil painting experiments to try and loosen up my style which can become very clinical in approach. The hazard of being a bit obsessive in my art making practice.
‘Summer afternoon’ was started before lockdown and was almost a hankering for the lazy late afternoon light that summer affords us. During lockdown I was unable to drive to my studio, a place I can be truly my most creative. I chose to finish the piece after lockdown and felt that it fit in very nicely with the theme of renewal of hope. The promise of long afternoons outside, absorbed with the nature we felt robbed of by circumstance, was just what I wanted from that word ‘hope’. I used fairly loose brush strokes and drew the subjects in paint before adding colours that I feel capture that feeling of late afternoon light. I didn’t stay true to the subject rather preferring to create an air of mystery with my colour choices. Leaving a bit of what’s underneath hints at the architecture of the painting, revealing its path from start to finish. I always work from photographs and love the blurring that occurs in objects further away giving them a dream like quality. To be honest I enjoyed making this piece so much that a few more are on the cards.
2001 Graphic Design Diploma
Ruth Prowse, Cape Town
2013 Unisa, BVA Degree(Honours)
Last exhibition: South African Fine Art Print Fair, Johannesburg 2019 (ran online till early 2020)