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Cara-Jo Tredoux Merit Winner 2017

Sasol New Signatures

Where does your passion for art comes from? 

My passion for art comes from my heart and started at a very young age. I grew up with artworks by my grandmother and I wanted to have the same freedom to express myself and so I developed a love of art.

Briefly describe your artistic journey up until the point of entering Sasol New Signatures? 

My artistic journey started at primary school where I took art lessons. Then in high school I chose Art as one of my main subjects and I concentrated all my energy and effort, heart and soul into it. I then decided to study Fine Art at TUT and completed my BTECH degree in 2015. TUT emphasised the value of competitions and exhibitions so I entered several competitions. I was once in the top 15 in the Thami Mnyele competition and I also participated in small group exhibitions in a few galleries. I have previously been selected for the top 100 in Sasol New Signatures and this is the second time that my work has been accepted. 

What motivated you to enter the Sasol New Signatures art competition?

Sasol New Signatures is known to be the most prestigious national art competition! This is the perfect opportunity to showcase my work or even just to learn something about artistic professionalism. TUT encouraged our participation and I have entered every year since my second year as a student and have learnt a lot.  

Sasol New Signatures
Cara Jo Tredoux | Wandering

What excites you about the creative process? 

Showing a piece of myself and putting my heart out there excites me, as well as the process where I get to decide what colours to use and where to place what. I always take my own photos when the place and moment “talks to me” and my inner being. I love to manipulate colours to give a new feeling and atmosphere and I can’t wait to share it with an audience.

Tell us about your preferred medium/s …and why? 

I prefer to use oil paint on wood, as the wood is part of my work’s deeper meaning. In most of my paintings I sand down parts of the paint so that the rawness of the wood comes through. This symbolises the unfinished business of lost souls. I use oils, as they are rich in colour, which helps to create atmosphere. Oil can also be used in a transparent manner to sometimes also portray vague figures in my art.

If you could summarize your work in three independent words, what would it be? 

Realistic, capturing and haunting.

Did this competition teach you anything about yourself? 

My previous entries into Sasol New Signatures taught me that less is sometimes more and that presentation is important. Those lessons definitely helped a lot for this year’s entry. I have also learned how to express myself verbally and not only through my paintings.

Sasol New Signatures

Which local artists do you admire? 

I have a big admiration for Adriaan van Zyl although he is deceased. I hold his hospital series “Memorandum” dear, especially the bed he compares to the ocean. As for my work, I love nature taking over abandoned spaces such as the Kempton Park Hospital. I also love Jan van der Merwe’s work as he works with memories and uses rusted furniture pieces in his installations. I have a special preference for painting interior pieces.

What are you currently working on/What is next for you as an artist? 

I am currently working on a few more paintings of the abandoned hospital and sending my portfolio to galleries and hoping a gallery will showcase it. I am also planning on opening an art studio so that I can continue creating art in a comfortable space.

What impact would winning this competition have on you? 

Winning this competition would have a huge impact on my life as I can then pay off my study loan and open my studio where I would also like to teach others and just focus on my art.

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