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David Krut presents ‘CAUGHT’ by Olivia Botha

This 14 August – 30 September 2021, David Krut Projects presents CAUGHT, an exhibition of paintings and unique print works by Olivia Botha. Botha is a multidisciplinary artist working in various media such as painting, poetry, printmaking, installation, video and drawing. The artist is currently preparing to undertake a 12-month fellowship with the renowned DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, as well as a two-month residency for artists from Africa in France, near Toulouse. 

Olivia Botha CAUGHT Dvid Krut Projects
Olivia Botha, CAUGHT, installation view

Botha is a multidisciplinary artist working in various media such as painting, poetry, printmaking, installation, video, and drawing. She is interested in unearthing how personal narratives, concepts of identity, and physical as well as imagined environments affect the present.

Olivia Botha CAUGHT David Krut Projects
Olivia Botha, Never thought I would, 2020, CAUGHT, Trace monotype

Due to travel restrictions Botha’s international residencies were repeatedly delayed. She returned to Cape Town, the place where she grew up, and produced a body of paintings at The Fourth during a residency arranged for her by David Krut. CAUGHT brings together these paintings and works made at the David Krut Workshop over the past two years.

In her painting practice, Botha works fast and in an intrepid manner. Working from a reference image, Botha resists the urge to examine her marks too closely, which allows her to draw an intuitive representation out of her brush. In this way, she accepts all marks as part of the process. 

Using the colour palette of a body of trace monotypes she created in 2020 as a starting point during her Cape Town residency, Botha worked towards producing paintings in conversation with the earlier works on paper. Following a progression, which happens naturally over periods between making work, the colour palette evolved and so has emerged a collection of intriguing, emotive portraits – Botha’s typical choice of subject.

Where the images made in Johannesburg were characteristically dreamlike and almost monstrous, these paintings are more familiar in their humanness. They reflect a yearning for connection and understanding, but maintain the feeling that such desires remain elusive as we exist as separate beings, and in a time when we are deliberately keeping a distance from each other.

Botha’s process in image creation seems to lend itself to her stated intentions in art making, namely to explore notions of language and communication, particularly the difficulties thereof. The act of creating reveals a kind of discovery of a person, figure, gesture, or expression.

CAUGHT by Olivia Botha opened on 14 August and runs until 30 September 2021 at 142 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parkwood.

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