Jill Trappler has worked as an artist and craft person in various projects over the past thirty years. These include, Thupelo, Greatmore Street (she is a founder member of both) and Bag Factory studios. (She was a Board member of all three). Jill served on the Board of the Ava gallery and the NAC.

Jill established the Philani weaving project and the Intle cooperative project in Site B and Philippi; the Philani clinic in Khayelitsha has a sustainable weaving project. The art studio initiative at Valkenberg grew out of workshops coordinated at the hospital. (This project started as an Outreach initiative of the AVA gallery)

Jill worked as an unqualified occupational therapist at Baragwaneth (1976/77) and at Groot Schuur OT department as a part time lecturer. Jill has lectured at UCT summer school.

She exhibits regularly in group shows nationally and abroad. Her solo exhibitions are numerous and continue to be a priority in her practice.

The combinations of project work, teaching and personal practice has a significant impact. Interactive, exchanging skills and ideas with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences plus daily involvement in making art/craft push the levels of creative life style, education and product development.

As a weaver and spinner by trade Jill explores the dynamics of color mixing, textures and surfaces. Although she is no longer involved in these trades or the teaching of them, she applies the same sensibility to her image making. Jill explores surfaces with color and mark and as a painter uses various tools to build her paintings.

Living in Cape Town for the past 40 years Jill has worked throughout the Peninsula creating employment opportunities by teaching various crafts and art making.  Her ability to communicate and her patience in sharing skills with people of various ages and languages has resulted in project and personal development. There is an affirmation of life; confidence building through skills development is encouraged and networked.  A deep respect for personal potential leads to interactive processes that engage the issues of social cohesion at all levels.

Moving within the diverse environment that the Cape Peninsula affords us, Jill is able to explore the rural and urban landscapes and the multiplicity of cultures and traditions. Her years spent in the Drakensburg mountains, followed by travel to major cities and isolated islands, living interactively in the heart of Johannesburg during the 1970’s, moving to Cape Town in the political heat of the 1980’s and working rigorously within the visual arts industry as a painter and facilitator is evident in the numerous solo and group exhibitions, the workshops and projects that Jill has participated in.  This accumulation of interactive activities contributes to her daily studio practice.

2024 Artist Statement

During 2023 I completed my sculptures in ceramics, bronze and wood. This was followed by a series of mixed media images on board.

The series of small vertical “drip” paintings, a series of images from the wood and two images which I would like to translate into tapestry have been documented.

At the Partage workshop  in Mauritius I worked on a series of woven installations. These three installations, were exhibited on the beach with work made by 48 other artists including visiting artists from 18 different countries.

I have started 2024 by working on large canvases using the weaving as a starting point. The “warp” however is horizonal as this relates to how music is scored.

Following conversations and explorations during the workshop which were loosely curated around global warming, I continue to seek the emergence of “a new world”, both internally and externally by creating autonomous experience that stimulate and interest me.

I would like to do more outdoor installations using found fibers.

The challenge in building images is similar to music in that the whole comes together and connects with the viewer/audience through time and memory/reflection.

Through time, the colours in a painting shift and in music the sounds move. In painting this has to do with the changes of light through night and day, natural light and set light and mind sets or mood changes. (texture assists colour in this respect.) A painting can be like a movie, given time. When a painting is complete I look forward to how it interacts and engages conversation. (Weaving palm fronds through a warp stretched between trees on the beach and listening to the sea music in mix with tree music and forest floor music stimulated valuable conversation.)

 2024 breathes into spaces that will open, visual possibilities.  

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