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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


(Nicola Firth’s Baobab Tree Series)

Three friends coming together to display specifically chosen pieces of work to illustrate each other's diversity and the uniqueness of the creative process. This is the background to Splashes of Randomness, an exhibition by Sharleen Boaden, Julia Forman, and Nicola Firth currently running at artSPACE durban.

Pietermaritzburg-born Sharleen Boaden creates impressionistic paintings from her studio in Durban. Her work is represented by selected galleries countrywide and her paintings are found in both local and overseas collections. For several years, she has been included in the top 20 selling artists at Pietermaritzburg's Art in the Park.
Sharleen began her artistic expression with poetry and a few of her poems were published. In 2000, she turned to the Fine Arts and now paints the poetry she feels. She tries to evoke an emotional connection between her paintings and its viewers and hopes for them to see more into the subject than just what is on the surface.
“In my paintings, I endeavour to capture the emotive quality in the subjects I portray,” she explains. “I am an impressionist, rather than a realist, preferring the viewer to be drawn by the essence of the subject rather than by it being just a replica of real life.”

Julia Forman (Guilia) lives in Durban – “the sunniest part of South Africa,” she says. “I am privileged to be surrounded by contrast constantly - in the people, the landscape, the colours! It is these elements that inspire me to wield the brush and I do so, sometimes with vigour and speed, other times in quiet serenity. I continually strive to capture images that we have all seen at some time...that special moment in time. My figures are more about attitude and character, rather than perfect renditions. When I complete a figure painting, the character and I have become one, having spent many hours together, we know each other well.
“Pablo Picasso sums up the way I paint flowers... "If one knows exactly what one is going to do, what good is it to do it? Because one knows it, is of no interest. It is better to do something else." And so it is that I strive to paint the smell of flowers.”
Having exhibited extensively in South Africa and overseas, Forman exhibits annually at Art in the Park and the Hilton Arts Festival. Her paintings can be found in private and corporate collections worldwide.

Nicole Firth was born in Kenya in 1970 and moved to South Africa in 1979. “I was fortunate to be raised on a farm and educated in KwaZulu-Natal. At the age of 15, I realised that art was a subject I really enjoyed and in which I showed some talent. I have never looked back. After completing a BA Fine Art degree at the University of Pietermaritzburg, majoring in ceramics, I decided to travel the world. The past few years have been filled with working both overseas and locally, travelling to exotic destinations and becoming a wife and mother of two. It was only in 2007 that I found the time to pursue my life-long dream of painting.

“I currently attend classes with Pascale Chandler in Durban, where my preferred medium is oil painting. I use my own photography from various trips around Southern Africa as a reference, typically scenes from the Transkei and Mozambique and weekends spent in the beautiful KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. I also gain inspiration from daily South African life and from the wonderful artists I have met since I started painting again. Few people are lucky enough to be able to do what they love. I am at my most content when I am feeling inspired in my peaceful white studio, brush in hand and a large blank canvas on my easel.”

artSPACE durban is situated at 3 Millar Road (off Umgeni Road) close to the Waste Centre. More information on 031 312 0793 or visit or