Gabrielle Raaff shares her Cape Town studio space along with guiding words from past teachers and a peek at new works.
“The people and environment that I interact with on a daily basis seem to rub off on my paintings. I can't say it is intentional or well thought through; rather, my work becomes a way for me to reflect on what I notice, what I see and feel. And above all, it allows me to be playful every day of my life.”
“I will never forget what my painting lecturer said to me once when I asked him what the goal of a painter is. He said 'To confuse the viewer'. I quite like that subversive nature of painting. I don't set about trying to describe a scene but rather I try to recall some of the more unusual visual moments from the experience and dish them up to the viewer in layers upon layers.”
“I have been enjoying working with found imagery culled from various local neighborhood newspapers. The strange angle, subject matter or even headline becomes a springboard for new visual stories. These works are a combination of water based oil and ink.”
“Taking photographs of my subjects allows me to soak up the scene, but also to have a bank of visual triggers from which I can extract the elements that are not obvious to me at the time of the encounter. ”
“Practically, at the studio I can also stretch large pieces of watercolor paper on boards and work to a scale that would be impossible for me to carry around. It is in the quiet, white space of my studio that my graphic eye comes in. I look for pattern, repetition, negative spaces and form and these are springboards for new stories to emerge.”