The Tina Skukan Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of oil on canvas work
‘Hier en Nou’
Willem Pretorius lives in Rosendal, a small town in the Eastern Free State with his wife Linda, who is also an artist and florist. They have eight children and moved there seventeen years ago from Pretoria, when he began working as a full time artist. He grew up in Stella, in the Kalahari and has a Diploma in Graphic Design from the Pretoria Technikon (Now TUT).
His medium is oil on canvas and his style is best described as contemporary or observational realism. He finds inspiration in the sights and smells of small towns and his depiction of them is through the eyes of a local, not merely a tourist or casual passerby.
His work has a strong South African vernacular and references from the many road trips he takes with his family. His theme mainly centres around the “platteland” and its changing landscapes; a form of visual diary.
The exhibition is called: “Hier en Nou” and refers to Willem’s work documenting a specific time and place in the changing South African landscape. It reminds us of our own transience and mortality; the brutality of time. Everything is temporary.
The artist loves how nature reclaims man-made structures. The beauty in decay. While Willem’s work can be deeply evocative, it should not necessarily be viewed as socio-political commentary – it shows things simply as they are. The artworks prompt the viewer’s memories, acting as a catalyst to engage with one’s feelings of loss, nostalgia, ‘heimwee’ etc.
Willem has been a top 40 finalist in Sanlam’s Portrait Awards five times, awarded 4th place in 2019 and 2nd in 2023. He has participated in various group and solo exhibitions and of his works form part of The William Humphreys National Gallery permanent collection, along with public and private collections – at home and abroad.
The exhibition will be opened by
Actor, producer, director, musician, and if there is money available, model
on Sunday 24 September 2023 at 11h30 – 14h00
The exhibition can be viewed until 19 October 2023