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Thursday, May 14, 2020


(Left: Kylie Wentzel)

During this lockdown, the KZNSA Gallery in Durban would like to introduce artists it has worked and collaborated with, in its new series: Meet the Artist. Have some fun with them, collect their art, and watch their Q&A videos on the Instagram and Facebook pages.

This week in its Meet the Artist series, the KZNSA introduces Kylie Wentzel. In 2019, the gallery exhibited Wentzel's piece, A Lovely Setting, in the group show Know This Place?

Watch her Q&A videos on our Instagram and Facebook pages.

Wentzel graduated with Bachelors of Fine Arts from the Michaelis School of Fine Art at the University of Cape Town in 2015. Here she found her love for linocut as a tool for visual storytelling. She went on to receive training in relief and intaglio printmaking techniques while apprenticing at professional printmaking studio, Warren Editions in Cape Town – producing fine art prints for established artists under master printmaker, Zhané Warren.

Her desire to break away from formal artistic conditioning led her to explore mediums outside of her expertise. Now mostly conquering large canvases with acrylic paint, her style is graphic and naïve, often mimicking her loose lino-cut techniques. She gathers inspiration from the natural and constructed environments around her, kitsch prints, strong smells, imported goods for sale on a hot city pavement, passing faces, and Tipp-Ex text scribbled on derelict alley walls.

Wentzel currently lives and works in uMdloti, KwaZulu-Natal.

Q: How do you know the KZNSA?

My mom is an artist, so as a child I grew up going to the KZNSA and it's where I was first exposed to fine art. Over the years they’ve held shows and events that I've gone to, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the space. Even now, they've continued to be a great support in my work.

Q: The best thing about being an artist?

It feels like you have access to ancient sorcery, or something. You can create something out of nothing and out of nowhere. Or you can take what you are handed in reality and do something to create your own desired version.

Q: Three creatives to lockdown with in your studio:

I would choose my favourite printmaker, John Muafangejo, the late Namibian artist. Painter, Danny Fox. And activist-designer, Viviene Westwood. I respect the ways they have observed the world.

Q: Strangest art gallery experience?

I was in my third year at art school and was set in my practice, and what I was focusing on. I went to the Iziko National Gallery and saw an exhibition called Impressions of Rorke's Drift. Up until then, all the work I was studying globally; I’d had reactions towards and understood how powerful art was. But in the time spent viewing (the Rorke's Drift) exhibition, I realised I'd never felt a reaction towards any of the art I'd seen before like that. From that moment, the way I looked at art and what I was producing completely shifted. It was the beginning of making the work that I loved and felt passionate about.

Q: What's the point of it all?

Shifting that question from an existential one to one about art, the point of painting is that it's my most comfortable method of communicating and documenting.

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The KZNSA Gallery can be contacted on 031 277 1705 or email: