By Andrew Mulenga
Engaging, lively and flirtatious. This is the ongoing, two-woman exhibition of about 40 oil and acrylic paintings by Nicole Sanderson and Katrina Ring that runs until 2 May.
Standing in the Zebra Crossings Cafe’s main dining space along Addis Ababa Road in Lusaka, you get to see vivid wildlife, landscapes and market scenes by Ring who also provides much of the still life in the show.
|Lady Chaterley (acrylic on canvas) |
by Nicole Sanderson
However, you quickly find your eyes patrolling the nude buttocks of “Lady Chatterley” a large acrylic on canvas painting by Sanderson, all the while hoping that the waiters are busy and are not paying attention to your assumed moment of voyeurism. Again, art does allow us to celebrate and appreciate the nude human form on occasion.
In this particular painting, however, it is not so much the celebration of the female that is enchanting, but also the artist’s skilful handling of light, shadow and the depiction of drapery.
Lady Chatterley is standing with her back towards the viewer as blast of light comes shining through the large window behind her with its window framer casting a shadow on all but her nude figure, classic.
She stands on what appears to be a white bed ruffled white bed sheet. Nevertheless, Sanderson’s nudes do not end here. There is about four more of a similar size, all in various poses and with various themes with spicy titles such as Summer Breeze, Autumn Fires and Blue Smoke.
However, it after taking a closer look at Sanderson’s, which is unavoidable, one realises that there is more to the paintings than nudity; these paintings are exuding emotion as well as celebrating freedom , freedom of expression by the artist and freedom of the soul by the subject matter, freedom to bare all and not hold back. Art as it should be.
|Kaonga Market (oil on canvas) by Katrina Ring|
Ring’s work on the other hand is slightly mundane, although colourfully so, and it seems to celebrate nature and the outdoors. As a painter there is no doubt her skills are exceptional.
But what is exciting about her work is the fact that she does all her paintings on location as did the French impressionists of the late 1800’s. Ring should be applauded for this if anything, painting on site is no mean undertaking. Artists repeat painting sessions at the same spot and often the same time of day for several days at a time.
|Mfuwe Trees with ground hornbill |
(oil on canvas) By Katerina Ring
This also entails standing against the elements risking dust blown on to your canvas or getting soaked by the rains, in the case of a Caucasian it should even involve litres of sun block.
Ring is a full-time painter, living part-time in Italy and part-time in Zambia. Her education was in graphic and textile design at the University of California, Davis. She continued, postgraduate, through the University of Georgia, Athens in Cortona, Italy and have studied drawing and painting in Germany, Florence and in the USA through various programs and schools for professional artists.
The ongoing exhibition is definitely a delight to watch and the Red Dot Gallery and Zebra Crossing Cafe have once again provided us with an entertaining exhibition, however, the display lacks detail in its failure to provide mini biographies and statements by the well experienced, but little known artists.
|Blue Smoke (acrylic on canvas) by Nicole Sanderson|