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W: 700mm x H: 900mm x D: 50mm
W: 28" x H: 35" x D: 2"
This work is
About "Strelitzia Grandiphallae"
[0x1]A Collection of Blooms with Attitude[0x1]
[0x1]Blooms with attitude[0x1], indeed. It is a vibrant, positive attitude, though; one of celebration, vitality and growth [0x1] with just a touch of naughtiness here and there, just to spice things up a bit.
Eric M[0xC3B6]ller[0x1]s works are intense and powerful, but it is not an unbridled power [0x1] quite the contrary. The forcefulness if his expression is tempered by exquisite colour harmony and compositional integrity. Consequently his paintings are conversational, but not overwhelming [0x1] making them wonderful roommates! This is especially important if you[0x1]re not into all the academic chitchat about the how and why of these canvases, and simply want something to uplift a dreary corner or revitalise a lifeless room.
It is hardly a secret that flower-themes have been flooding our galleries for many decades [0x1] most of them trite, uninspired and safe little flowers at that! So what makes Flora Fabula worthy of our interest?
The artist probably answers this question best:
[0x1]Well, they[0x1]re not really flowers [0x1] they are perceptions of flowers. What I mean by this is that here we have images of everyday objects that have been filtered through a data bank of memories and emotional associations. For example, when we look at objects in the world around us, our first impulse is to recognise them [0x1] here[0x1]s a chair, there a car, and here a flower. This is vision [0x1] the ability to [0x1]see[0x1]. Perception goes beyond this. In our perception of the world we associate these objects with feelings and memories [0x1] consciously or not.[0x1]
M[0xC3B6]ller argues that this muddle of impulses actually causes us to perceive our world in a surprisingly abstract manner.
[0x1]Maybe this is why people seem so keen to confront abstract pieces. Their reaction to abstraction may be positive or negative, but a reaction is guaranteed! Abstraction reaches deep into our psyche [0x1] seeming to address something primordial, something that touches on the whole essence of meaning [0x1] the grasp of which has been plaguing mankind forever.
[0x1]So what I[0x1]m attempting to do here is to investigate my own perception of things I know well (in this case, flowers) [0x1] and to give a visual impression of these perceptions. It is a biased vision, I admit. The value of the experiment lies in the reaction of my audience; will they experience these images as flowers, emotions or meaning? Or maybe combinations of all three?
If you really want to push the envelope a bit here, you might even argue that this abstraction of reality is often the underlying cause of misunderstanding and conflict amongst people. But I[0x1]m not quite sure if I want to take the argument to that extreme at this stage of the investigation[0x1][0x1]
Pictures in the Flora Fabula Series are created in an intriguing manner. Firstly M[0xC3B6]ller finds his reference material. A flower, often from his garden. This flower is then drawn on the canvas [0x1] keeping the lines flowing and simple, and detail to the minimum. At this point the reference is put aside, although and under-painting in acrylic might still be based on colours suggested by the original. Now comes the interpretation phase. The object, here still fully recognisable, is interpreted as a visual stimulus. Association and feeling come into play. Slowly the forms begin to suggest what needs to happen next. This is a growth process [0x1] just like flowers grow and expand themselves. Flowers are, however, restricted by fundamental laws of nature [0x1] the artist[0x1]s mind and perception less so. The artist is lead to each new step by what has gone before, and knows not what the final piece will look like.
[0x1]At some point I know I need to stop. Maybe at the point when the canvas tells me that compositional integrity has been achieved, or maybe when I feel fulfilled. I don[0x1]t really know what the cues are.[0x1]
It has been stated by those privileged enough to see some of the works in progress, that certain of the images have a [0x1]naughtiness[0x1] about them. M[0xC3B6]ller responds quite simply: [0x1]Well, flowers are really leaves, mad with love, aren[0x1]t they? We give flowers to those we fancy [0x1] you figure it out[0x1][0x1]
Each painting carries a title that smacks of high school Latin. These are in fact not the plants[0x1] scientific names. [0x1]It is a bit of a tongue-in-cheek thing, really,[0x1] sniggers M[0xC3B6]ller. [0x1]I thought of creating my own kind of mock-Latin language to somehow give the whole thing apparent scientific credibility. The words are mostly based on English, and the idea is to further the whole perception thing [0x1] this time using the spoken word. It[0x1]s like listening to a foreign language and being able to deduce the gist of it by recognising individual words; just another abstract perception[0x1][0x1]
- From the Press Release for [0x1]Flora Fabula[0x1].
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Eric Moller is a painter, writer and art teacher who lives and works in Pretoria. He was born and grew up in Mossel Bay on the beautiful Garden Route coastline.
His works are bold, colourful celebrations of vital life-forces, growth, passion and experience. Humans and the natural world feature strongly in his work; often they appear together - sometimes in harmony and sometimes in opposition. At times his imagery is precise and highly realistic; at other times there is a sense of dissolution and the world we know becomes an abstraction in which only intellect and emotion remain. Oftentimes the works transcend reality and become dream-images; laden with symbolism and open-ended questions.
Moller's themes and inspirations are as widely varied as his stylistic approach, but overall they are about Nature and Human Life, about Primordial Forces that create and rule the world and drive us all. This may include a study of geological forces and phenomena, an insight gained from the way things grow and evolve, a tongue-in-cheek observation of flowers in erotic display and a raunchy indulgence in human sexuality.
Moller finds visual inspiration in the clear light and bright colours, varied textures and scenic contradictions that are so characteristic of the Southern African environment.
Eric Moller has works in private and corporate collections in South Africa, England, Canada, Australia, Germany, The United States, The Netherlands and Singapore.
Since 2001 Eric Moller has had 11 solo exhibitions and has taken part in 13 group exhibitions.
Other high-lights include:
2011: Publication of his book "86 Days in The City of Lights" - an account of his experiences in Paris.
2009 and 2010: Finalist in PPC's Young Sculptors Competition.
2008/09 Residency: Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France (Courtesy of SANAVA and the Alliance Francais)
University of Pretoria
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