April welcomed a First Thursday worth writing home about, as two local talents collaborated to create the Shapes in Susurrus exhibition held at Studio Dylan Thomaz. We got them on record to find out how it all fell in to place.
su·sur·rus (so͝oˈsərəs/) noun: susurration; noun: susurrus
example: whispering, murmuring, or rustling.”the susurrus of the stream”
Artists, Amor Coetzee and Gabi Lee Smit magically collaborated this year, showcasing a series of paintings and ceramics that explored the beauty behind simple shapes. As the word susurrus describes, the collection is serene, filled with subtle tones and carries a minimalistic approach. It is captivating, much like the ladies behind the scene:
What are your backgrounds?
Amor: I come from a very humble background. My roots are in the small seaside town of Gonubie. I moved to Port Elizabeth to study Photography and then to Cape Town to pursue a creative career. I have been working in the photography and art industry for six years now and am very lucky to have been able to open my own ceramic and illustration studio under the name, Dayfeels.
Gabi: My mother has always created art, so this has been normal for me. But I studied Industrial Design, received a bursary to study photography, worked for a few years and then one day I started to draw and that was that. I now know that no matter how my art is accepted, I just need to keep creating.
What does ‘being creative’ mean to you?
Gabi: What I need to do.
How did this collaboration come about?
Amor: The wonderful Gabi Lee approached me with the idea to collaborate and contribute a few ceramic pieces to the exhibition. It was a very organic process as we had a similar vision and our work complimented one another so gracefully. Working with Gabi was lovely and it all came together so beautifully.
Gabi: Amor is a beautiful being and all her work portrays this so naturally she has been a dream to collaborate with. Her work has the core values that I strive for, a calm essence and original.
What kind of creative patterns or routines do you have?
Amor: A cup of tea and a morning walk to my studio.
Gabi: Sometimes I listen to NWA really loud in my headphones, sometimes company helps and sometimes I like silence. What I mostly love is the softness and calmness of the brush strokes.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Amor: Subtleties. Serenity. Silence.
Gabi: Something easy to look at, something that can’t be mass-produced. Something that people can understand.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?
Amor: Sound and experiential installation work, and old printmaking techniques.
Gabi: Realism and in a few years, sculpture.
What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?
Amor: It would have to be natural light.
Gabi: I agree with Amor, and also a good quality soft tipped round brush.
What’s the last artwork you purchased?
Amor: A painting of the moon by my good friend Amy Keevy.
Gabi: A Jack Walsch artwork.
What’s your art-world pet peeve?
Amor: Schmoozing at exhibition openings.
Gabi: More wine than champagne.
Which famous artist’s work would you love to own?
Amor: Not to sound cliché, but definitely anything by the great Frida Kahlo.
Gabi: A Matisse for sure!
All images courtesy of Lion and the Lady
WANT TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT GABI AND AMOR?
We first met Amor and her brand, Dayfeels, a full-time ceramic and illustration studio in Cape Town CBD, where she creates handmade one-of-a-kind earthenware pieces and artworks. You can also read about Gabi and her beautiful seascape series paintings.
You can also stay in touch with Studio Dylan Thomaz for the latest exhibitions.