WORDS Michaela Stehr IMAGES Hannah Beth
After spending the initial lockdown on the shores of the West Coast, Cape Town-based artist and brand curator Amy Keevy used the colours she experienced in nature, as well as the female form, to inspire her latest collection, Paintings in Ochre: Girl on the Shore.
From blush and rust hues to a spectrum of ochre tones, Amy’s new body of work encapsulates the the flora and fauna of the beachfront, which she had time to explore and ponder as the world was forced into a quiet and contemplative space. Amy used this time to connect with both her surroundings and with the earth and its elements.
Recently, Amy learned of a condition she has called Aphantasia, which is characterised by not being able to voluntarily visualise mental images. “I’d never understood what someone meant when they say they can ‘see’ something in their minds,” she explains. “For me, it’s a blur of colours, tone and light. I’ve wondered if this has made me hold on to the memory of feelings because once I’ve seen something, it’s gone.” This translates into her latest pieces, informing her artistic process and final works.
Using ochre, one of the oldest known pigments for painting, Amy dilutes and condenses her materials to create soft washes or bold colours. She also draws on femininity and the representation of women over time, from the Venus of Willendorf through to modern-day photography and ideals.