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Katie is an Artist with SouthAfricanArtists.com based in South Africa.
Katie Farringer was born in Arizona in the USA. She moved to South Africa for the first time when she was 12 years old and then migrated continuously between the two locations. She travelled extensively with her parents, from whom she inherited a love of foreign lands, vibrant colours and exotic places, experiencing several epic round-the-world journeys with them. “This has been extremely influential in my work. This feeling of one foot in each continent, one leg on either side of the pond, perhaps I try to create a sense of peace and belonging in my work. The organic shapes which strongly influence me are similar anywhere in the world, with only subtle changes of colour…”
Katie studied art and languages at Stellenbosch University and is fluent in English, Afrikaans, German, Italian and French. She’s currently learning Xhosa (“Very challenging!”) and Spanish.
She worked as a model/actress and photographer in Europe and the States until adventure called and she sailed from Cape Town to the Caribbean, then hitched rides on boats to South America with her then-boyfriend Jan Schliemann. Her plans to move to New York were shelved when Jan proposed. Katie settled with her new husband in Stellenbosch and, ever enterprising, set up an import/export company specialising in berries and baby vegetables. This enabled her to continue travelling, stopping only to give birth to her two gorgeous boys, Alex and Sebastian. She now focuses full-time on her creativity.
Katie lives an idyllic and “supposedly peaceful except for the rooikatte and porcupines who keep me up at night…” existence on their farm just outside Stellenbosch. From this haven she indulges her passion for photography and paints abstracts – she recently held a very successful exhibition of close-up floral photographs printed on canvas and abstract works of art.
“Now I’m moving towards abstract realism…” says Katie, who works in Perspex, canvas and any other material which comes to mind. “I find it very difficult to describe my work, as it is so much an integral part of me, an expression of my personality, my thoughts, my emotions, filled with bright colour and vibrant life in an age which promotes uniformity…”
Experimenting outside the conventional boundaries is an intrinsic element of her work. Colour is essential too – “deep, rich layers of colour!” Another important aspect is three-dimensionality, the depth to which you can ‘see through’ the many layers of paint and Perspex. “Seeing the inside out…” is how she puts it.
Organic shapes, nature, time and her emotive responses to all that is around her have a strong influence: “I dissemble an everyday image to its basic elements, then reconstruct it using thick layer upon layer of bold-textured colour to personify my perception of the world.”
Katie often struggles to name her paintings, as she usually starts with no actual name or image in mind, but rather an emotion or a subconscious response to something she’s seen or experienced. “Often my paintings take months to complete and evolve over time. By the time a painting is finished, I have ‘moved’ and the initial concept has changed, as have I. My response to the image has evolved, the many layers of paint represent a multitude of emotions and senses…”
And as if painting isn’t enough on her palette, she’s also an accomplished actress. (“No, not just in my own universe, in reality too!”) She’s worked on several major international movies which were shot in South Africa and acted in a couple of commercials over the past few years, adding another facet to her full and creative life.
I like to dissemble everyday images to basic elements and then reconstruct them on varying different materials using thick layer upon layer of bold textured colour to personify my perception of the world.
My work is hanging at various galleries in the Cape and in numerous private homes.
at present my work is hanging at Grande Provence Gallery in Franschoek, and at the Lisa KIng Gallery in Cape Town.
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