Interview: Corrie Van der Wath
Luca Curci talks with Corrie Van der Wath during FRAGMENTED IDENTITIES, second appointment of BORDERS Art Fair 2020, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.
Van der Wath’s passion for collecting art spurred the desire in 2005 to undertake art as a hobby for self-expression. His fulfilling journey evolved significantly in 2019 when he commenced mentorship under Dr. Elfriede Dreyer, Professor Extraordinarius. This introduction to the broader spectrum of art concepts and history created the opportunity for Van der Wath to express himself through experiences in his world of business, engineering, and psychology. Besides holding formal qualifications in these disciplines, Van der Wath has pursued several short courses in art and is currently completing a certificate in Contemporary Art with the CAP Institute. In 2020 the artist has been recognized in various international competitions and exhibitions, notably as third Edition Winner (Biafarin Prize) in the Prisma International Art competition, exhibiting at the Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello, Venice, (BORDERS – Venice International Art Fair, ITSLIQUID Group) and International Art Fair, Luxembourg, Kirchberg (Van Gogh Art Gallery, Madrid, Spain). Van der Wath lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he reflects on the country’s cultural and human diversity, conceptual “worlds”, business and political controversies.
Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Corrie Van der Wath – I enjoy pursuing a concept (e.g. Pale Blue Dot-Exhibition Series) and then making a series of artworks depicting the theme. I have included works from two recent series: ”Refuge” and ”Expressions”. The current serie I am working on reflects on our troubled and complex society: ”Communication between conflicting worlds”.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
CVDW – My background and occupation is that of Group CEO in the consulting engineering space (electrical and energy). I have a very technical background supported by qualifications in business, psychology and industrial psychology. Besides business and engineering, I am intrigued by the ”human condition”, expression and creativity. The experience that has most influenced my work is the awareness that Art allows us to reflect on what is important to us, without having to explain it. When we find ourselves in an art piece, it speaks on our behalf, reflecting identities and inner concepts.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
CVDW – ”Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play” – Henri Matisse. I see myself as a very creative person, inspired by beauty, style and order.
LC – What is your creative process like?
CVDW – Whether in business, art or engineering my creative process always starts with analyzing and conceptualization. I need to understand and test before implementing. I need to map out, once I know where I am going, in a very flexible and creative way, I will pave the way for the desired result. Basically, my art process is: analyzing – concept – theme – map – framework – drafting – technique – materials – implementation – polishing – concluding.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
CVDW – Not always at the beginning of a work. I am a playful individual and sometimes I create as a way to relax, only to realize during the process that there is alignment with one of the themes I am working on. The mind is powerful, what you occupy it with will eventually reveal itself.
LC – We were attracted by your last artistic production, has the artwork presented been created for the festival or as a part of pre-existing works?
CVDW – The works come from a pre-existing series created during Covid-19 lockdown, called ”A pale blue dot”, inspired by the book of Carl Sagana, connected with the ”Vision of the Human Future in Space”. Despite all our dreams and endeavours earth is still the only home we have, so we need to redefine our existence, and still protect what we have. It rangs well with the festival theme of identities. “The new invisible borders generated by Covid-19 are creating new ways of living everyday life, new human connections and new way of thinking common spaces and entire cities. Could the new ‘borders’ be the solution?”
LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
CVDW – I agree with it as it carries a timeous and pragmatic approach. Art is an extremely strong universal language that represents our message in creating a new world. Art records and creates!
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
CVDW – From the artist’s communication, to social media links and promotional material, a festival has been created that feels alive and inviting. Being hosted in one of the most important centers for art further supports this message. Very well! However, it is sad that due to Covid-19 he was unable to attend in person.
LC – Would you suggest a collaboration with us? What do you think about our services?
CVDW – I definitely support collaboration with ITSLIQUID Group and I have enjoyed the quality of service and exposure I received.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
CVDW – I have no doubt that ITSLIQUID Group represents a great opportunity for artists. What is important for an artist is to define what you work and strive for. Some artists are participating for exposure and experience, some are building a CV, and others are trying to sell their art. It is a ”horses for courses” concept and value exchange lies within understanding what you want from participating.