October 28, 2023 - November 15, 2023
The White River Gallery is proud to present Lifescapes, an exhibition of portraiture by Lowveld artist Felicity Bell.
Since its inception, Felicity has entered the South African National Portrait Awards numerous times, her work being placed in the Top 40 on two occasions. She has also entered the BP Awards in London several times.
In 2021, Felicity realized a long-held dream by earning a first place in the SA National Portrait Awards with her winning entry Khulani d.February 2021. As part of her prizewinnings, Felicity was afforded a solo exhibition of portraiture to be held at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in the Western Cape.
Lifescapes largely encompasses the body of work which was created for this solo exhibition, over the past year and a half. Having won the award in Sept 2021, Felicity speaks of her journey in creating these paintings, including a rest and incubation period of about seven months before finally entering her studio to place the first layers of paint onto her canvas. After this significant first step, Felicity spent full days immersed in her upstairs studio with its vast view over the Lowveld, listening to music, lost in her world of portraits, with distractions kept to a minimum.
She speaks of her intrigue and fascination with people and their stories. Many of her subjects for the exhibition are characters that she encounters in her everyday life – with a few more recognizable faces included in the exhibition. Included is her large-scale portrait of Dr Esther Mahlangu which reached the Top 40 in 2021.
Her aim is to depict the different facets of humanity, the uniqueness of each sitter; however viewing the 29 artworks leaves one with a strong sense of commonality on many levels. Presented at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery from May to June this year, this exhibition has journeyed from the Cape to arrive at our Lowveld doorstep, with a few additional paintings by Felicity to add to the mix of work.
Lifescapes also features a selection of marine-oriented sculptures, portraits in their own right, in various media, Including found driftwood, bronze and resin, by well-loved Lowveld sculptor Tony Fredriksson.
White River Gallery