February 2016

Many writers, poets, musicians and visual artists have been struck by what is uniquely and ineffably African, and tried to express this in their work. One feels the African geography and all the people who inhabit the landscape most acutely … Read More

“This is where we meet”

“This is where we meet” An exhibition of paintings, KZNSA gallery, Durban, May 2006 There is something unique about a meeting place, a “metaxy”, where personal boundaries coalesce and open up an offering for interaction and discovery. This exhibition explores … Read More

Ruth Prowse

Ruth Prowse, June 2015 While thinking quietly about this presentation I was prompted from somewhere to say the following; Ruth Prowse School is an institution that offers freedom of movement in a structured nurturing environment, encouraging the development, growth and … Read More

Notes for walk about

Unfolding her Ava 2015 Thank you for joining us in discussion of this exhibition. I would like to give you some information and context then I am happy to have a conversation about specific pieces if you have comments or … Read More

Kirstenbosch march 2014-03-10

Before reading what I have prepared I want to share a comment by one of the organisers, Christine Cherry Jones; she commented how little time viewers give themselves to take in an image; they walk past, some spending more time … Read More

Seeking Eden

Casa Labia, December 10th Seeking Eden The two In Bloom exhibitions that preceded this show were a romantic or poetic reminder for us to acknowledge or re affirm our relationship with nature, with gardens and gardening. In this exhibition, Seeking … Read More

Jill Trappler – notion of being, moments of being, Essay by Marilyn Martin

Irma Stern Gallery 2009

“A consummated experience between picture and onlooker” (Mark Rothko)

This statement by Mark Rothko[i] captures Jill Trappler’s vision for both artist and viewer. It lays to rest the widespread myth, which originated with Clement Greenberg, that abstractionism is necessarily an art of pure perception, and affirms that reading, experiencing and absorbing a work of art goes beyond sensation, if for no other reason than for the concept of totality. Add to that its transcendental potentiality and you have a complex consummation.

Two recent solo shows, ‘Studio Conversation’[ii] and the work selected by Joe Wolpe for the exhibition ‘Jill Trappler Joe’s choice’, which spanned a period of thirty years, revealed a consummate artist who has consistently explored different modes of non-representational art in a variety of media.[iii] Trappler insists that she does not ‘abstract’ from anything; hers is an art of poetry and metaphor and associations that can emerge years after the visual stimulus registered; these are never literal, but contained and communicated in an astonishing variety of media.[iv]

Read MoreJill Trappler – notion of being, moments of being, Essay by Marilyn Martin

Notions of Being/Moments of Being – A Personal Response

I seldom have the opportunity to observe while someone else finalizes an exhibition.  So it was a rare and lovely chance for me to be present as Jill Trappler put the finishing touches to her exhibition Notions of Being/Moments of Being at the Irma Stern Museum.  On a sunny morning in December, I sat in the museum gallery and waited for the stories her work had to tell me.

The breeze from the windows gently lifted the works on paper away from the wall and played with the sculptural pieces mounted in the centre of the room.   The movement transformed the images of clothes into the garments they depicted, as though worn by an invisible fashionista.  As the artist adjusted one of the paper sculptures, I half expected her to take some pins from her mouth to improve the ‘fit’.  She looked more dressmaker than painter; her necklaces resembling a tape measure slung around her neck.

Read MoreNotions of Being/Moments of Being – A Personal Response