Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Come fly away...

Are you up to taking a trip with me? Why don't we go visit an artist who paints in the colors of the rainbow....let's go meet Ronnie Biccard, in far-away South Africa. Let's see her art and hear the many stories it tells, of joy and heartbreak and of the inspiration that is born.......

Though Ronnie describes herself as an empty nester at the moment, her life is full of art and beauty. She works to music (woman after my own heart!) and many of her paintings portray movement and ceremony. She says "my paintings capture the essence of joy... joie de vive". Hold on to that thought and read on to experience it.....

"Passion like this". From a series of commissioned art on South Africa.  

Given below are a few questions I had put to her along with her answers...... 

GB: What was the first piece of artwork you made that led you to realise that art was your calling?

RB: I remember I was sick and in bed-I always had tummy ups- and downs- sets as a child, I must have been about 5 or 6, when my dad came into the room to see how i was doing. He surprised me with a set of choki pens, thick colourful ones, and I remember drawing an Alladin's lamp, one colour next to the next. I remember and can easily connect with the delight I felt at the time. I wish my mom had kept it.

Goddess of water.

GB: When did you hold the first exhibition? How did It feel?

RB: I did Art for Matric and wanted to go to University to study teaching, I had no money nor did my dad so my sister( 20 years older than me) had all my school art framed, invited all her friends and had an exhibition for me in her house. They sold like hotcakes. I had enough money to go to college. In fact my sister still has some of those pictures hanging on her walls.

 On to Langebaan.

GB:  Any piece of art that (that you made) you have not and will never part with? (the family portrait?)

RB: Actually no, I am so willing to let my art go. I don't get sentimental about my work.

Flower sellers and chicks for sale.

GB: Do you tour? Any exhibition(s) scheduled out of the continent?

RB: I have exhibited in Naples Florida in 2000 when I lived and worked there. Other than that I have not exhibited out of South Africa. Having said that I have many collectors outside of SA- USA, Canada, Europe.

Travelling- yes, I have traveled extensively in my life, lately not, but that is about to change. We are relocating to the UK and the big world in nearer from there. I have visited the Far East-Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea. I have also been to Spain UK and US. In addition to that I have traveled up through Africa- Zimbabwe, Mocambique, Malawi , Tanzania , Zanzibar and Namibia. I've never been to South America, but that's on my list.

Anthony's blues.

I had mentioned her stories and's one that really gripped me... I'm lifting this verbatim from her blog....
In december of 2007 we hired a movie called "Blood Diamonds" with Leonardo De Caprio. Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990's Sierra Leone. A violent movie which had a terrible impact on me. In January the following year I had a vision, a nightmarish one, where I saw civil war and violence in our own country(South Africa). A few months later we did have terrible violence, where xenophobia struck our country and people from other countries in Africa were displaced and brutally attacked.

Many white South Africans were once again leaving our beautiful country. I had thoughts of the same. For the next few months I was gripped in fear. Paralized by it in fact. I just didn't want to be in South Africa where we have all this crime and violence.

I had been a victim of an armed robbery the year before at a friends house, we weren't harmed at all, but the invasion on ones space and person is quite infuriating and humbling at the same time.

I suppose I didn't deal with the trauma at the time because I didn't feel traumatised at all. In fact it was quite a strange out of body feeling then- and I felt no fear. The reality of what could have happened struck me a year later when I saw the movie, had the vision and then the actual violence of the xenophobic attacks..

I went into a very dark space of feeling very very fearful, angry, hopeless and depressed.

I wanted to remove myself from this harsh experience.

I want to leave South Africa and relocate to Spain. I travelled to Spain about 10 years ago and loved it. This is where I started an escape from reality. I had and still have this romantic notion that it would be so beautiful, carefree and inspiring. AND SAFE. I started searching on the internet for properties to buy to renovate. They say artists live in a world of fantasy. Well thank goodness, it was my saviour. I definately escaped on a very creative and inspiring journey this time. I removed myself from and dealt with the fear that gripped me, I transmuted it into freedom. I didn't have to sell up and uproot. I was free to be the gypsy, I could escape and paint away the fear. I think I drove my husband and family crazy.

For me this experience was about dreaming, about imagining; in the day, in the night and in my creations...

Where in Spain I travelled to I don't know. I just know I found fabulous places and here "my little cortija in Spain on a Finca " dream came about."
And that's how beauty is has to come from the heart, you see.

Little boxes. Triptych.


Little village in the garden.

Can't wait to read more? You can visit Ronnie here. Many more pictures and her story on her Picasa Album.
Stay tuned.....what? don't you want to see an artist's space?...just FYI, her many homes have been featured (several times) in leading South African decor mags.... nothing contrived in her space(s)....all as free-flowing and colorful as her art........... 

All images copyrighted to Ronnie Biccard.

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