Ince’s work has roots in her love for nature and our local ecology, and despite growing up far away from fynbos in Johannesburg she studied B.Sc in Stellenbosch.
Focusing on Conservation Ecology and Botany. Having always had a passion for art she only started oil painting following a career in tourism and also having spent a lot of precious time with her two young daughters.
Some of her favourite subjects are landscapes and plants and you will often find her with smudges of Prussian Blue or Viridian Green following a painting session. Other interests include sustainability, cooking with organic produce and supporting local artisans and producers.
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As a therapist and self-taught artist, l’m interested in all the ways that art and therapy intersect and enrich each other. My artwork therefore reflects many of my personal struggles and triumphs, and has also been an important part of my meaning-making and healing.
In 2013, I suddenly and unexpectedly lost 80% of my vision. My blindness affects my focal vision the most, so producing accurate colours, fine lines and textural detail is difficult for me now. But I love texture and detail very much, so I use the colours and textures already available in recycled magazine papers. I especially love the rich, vibrant colours printed on glossy magazine papers, and the way that cuttings of magazine imagery and even lettering can create interesting and unexpected textural details. Using magazine papers in this way feels like a practice of accepting and choosing to collaborate with the constraints that I live with, and finding the spaces where I still have agency and creativity. Through my artwork, l’m able to clearly see and appreciate the unique beauty and meaning that I can create, not lust in spite of my constraints, but because of my constraints.
Given my experiences of being a transplant recipient, adoptive mother, and specialist grief support therapist, I also deeply resonate with the metaphors of breaking apart and coming back together in new combinations. I delight in layering pieces from different beginnings together to make something new that honours all of the unique and rich textures in each layer. I love how the layering process parallels therapeutic and healing processes, where we often revisit themes, each time adding new layers of nuance, insight, and possibility. My magazine paper collages are a celebration of the visual qualities that I can still see and appreciate: composition, colour, and light. The subjects I choose are most often simple, ordinary things in life that offer a universal kind of pleasure that’s relatively accessible to us all, regardless of our social location, such as botanicals, natural landscapes, and sky scapes.
Proteas are not only beautiful flowers. They are also deeply meaningful to me. They are very resilient plants that have adapted to survive droughts and fires. They have strong, well-developed roots, and the ability to resprout and reseed especially well after fires. Smoke and heat from fire triggers germination in the nutrient-rich ashen soil, and new life begins again after fire, only more abundant than before. When we fully embrace the vulnerability and loss of the lives in life, and build within ourselves and our communities the character traits and skills that enable us to resprout, reseed, and thrive even more than before, that is true abundance!
My art journey has really only just begun, after a 23 year corporate Marketing career ended in 2011. Regular art classes and workshops influence me and challenge me and I keep exploring and learning.
My inspiration? Seeing beauty all around me with “new eyes” since starting to paint. It’s in the shape and colour of the clouds, so different, each and every day, it’s in the look in my new puppy’s eyes, it’s in a face that I see in a crowd, and it’s in the beauty of what I see on my travels, which I photograph and use as reference material in my studio. My art style leans towards realism, though, trying too hard to create detail is not my intention. I try rather to capture the essence of what caught my attention initially and inspired me to want to paint it.
Member of South African Society of Artists (SASA) and Constantiaberg Art Society (CAS) Sales of art at various SASA Exhibitions, CAS Exhibitions, Royal Cape Exhibition, Elliot Art Gallery Auction, sales to private individuals and Private Commissions.
Audrey’s painting career naturally evolved out of her career as a ceramic artist. She first attended classes in Bryanston with Gemma van Schaardenburg and then moved on to fine ceramics with Kim Sacks at her studio in Yeoville.
She relocated to Hermanus in 1990 where she was part owner first of The Bay Studio in St Peter’s Lane and thereafter The Brush Stroke on Marine Drive in one of the historic Godfrey Cottages until 2008. She retired from producing ceramics in 2005 when she established Audrey Hickman Properties.
She works in all media and is most inspired by color and line. Line work and mark making has become dominant in her current abstract pieces. She’s worked with a number of artists in Hermanus such as Maxi Steytler and Tertia Knaap, Ken Hunkin, Erica Berry and Shelly Adams… and taken part in many local exhibitions. She paints and teaches from the Volmoed Art Room from where a small collection of her work may be viewed as well as from the Volmoed Tearoom.
When l was a little girl, l was constantly drawing. Ponies and pretty birds and doggies and cats.
Looking back, what surprises me is that I never even once dreamt of becoming an artist. Not even when I was lost in childish imagination, removed from The Grown-up World that demands realistic career choices, I wanted to be a mermaid. But never an artist…
The journey to becoming a full-time artist has been anything but boring, A roller-coaster-road-that-never-ends, dotted with the constant struggle to find balance. Balance between work and home. Balance between focusing on deadlines and long-term growth. Balance between finding the time to do it yourself and the money to outsource an aspect of your business. Balance between stability and chasing a dream, Balance between doing what makes you happy and turning that into something that puts bread on the table.
On the days that I feel the delicate balance faltering (and the struggle outweighing the happy), l just paint myself a tail and go for a swim until things look better,.. So I got to be a mermaid after all!
The Happy Struggling Artist is a celebration of South Africa’s incredibly diverse wildlife.
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