June 23, 2022 - July 11, 2022
The White River Gallery is pleased to host the third exhibition for husband and wife artists Linda and Willem Pretorius, in as many years. Although their lives are intertwined, Linda Pretorius and Willem Pretorius portray their worlds in very different ways. Linda was a florist and her expressive floral paintings have an immediacy that reflects her busy life, spontaneous nature, and the fleeting nature of floral arrangements. Willem's work is carefully considered. His acute observations of nostalgic locations document a particular moment in time that is both transient and enduring.
Linda grew up in Pretoria and studied BA Multimedia at Tuks before moving to London and working as a florist. Here she met her husband, artist Willem Pretorius. Upon returning to South Africa the couple decided to move to Rosendal, in the Eastern Free State, to raise their family in the platteland and also to allow Willem to focus on painting. Linda spent the next couple of years raising their 8 children and being Willem's agent, but she missed the flowers. She had some oil painting lessons as a child and decided to start painting the flowers from her garden. She especially enjoys painting old-fashioned flowers like irises, roses, dahlias, zinnias, ranunculus, etc. because of their bright, vibrant colors. In recent times, her subject matter has expanded to incorporate other objects from everyday life.
The medium she works in is oil on stretched canvas. She hopes to give a fresh, contemporary feel to the very traditional subject of floral still lives. She finishes all of her paintings in one sitting and prefers not to go back afterward to correct anything, capturing a feeling or mood in a specific time that you cannot go back to. The oil paint is applied very thickly (impasto), and her work is more impressionistic than realistic.
Willem Pretorius lives in Rosendal, in the Eastern Free State, with his florist wife and eight children. He moved there twelve years ago from Pretoria when he decided to become a full-time artist. He grew up in another small town, Stella, in the Kalahari, and has a diploma in graphic design from the Pretoria Technikon (Now TUT).
His medium is oil on canvas and his style can best be described as contemporary or observational realism. He finds inspiration in the smells and sights of these small towns and his depiction of them on canvas is that of a local and not merely a tourist or casual passer-by. His work has a strong South African vernacular and his reference is taken on the many road trips he takes with his family.
His theme is mainly concerned with the "platteland" and its changing landscapes. It can be seen as a type of visual diary where he documents a specific time and place in our history and in doing so, remembering. It also reminds us of our own transience and mortality. Everything is temporary.
-White River Gallery