In Gina Heyer’s most recent paintings of night swimming pools and moonlit courtyards, a moment of calm is distilled in paint, but that silence and stillness balances precariously on the edge of something more ominous. These spaces emerge as recurrent dreams where familiar scenes are revisited but each time something is altered.
As spaces of transition and passage they urge the viewer to pass through, a reminder that one’s stay is temporary, and yet there is an urge to linger. The viewer’s gaze stalks the night and probes the dark spaces in search of something. Perhaps that something is just a feeling or an absorbing of a fully present visual moment; an observation of light interacting with solids and liquids, like visual alchemy. The paintings purposefully bring the seamless illusion of space and depth into tension with their flatness as almost paper thin veneers on flat and floating boards. Mundane and familiar spaces become beautiful and strange when stilled and eternally fixed through the slow and painstaking layering of paint.
Gina Heyer was born in 1983 in Natal, South Africa. In 2006 she obtained a BA Fine Arts degree at Stellenbosch University and in 2011 a Masters Degree in Fine Arts (Cum Laude) specialising in photorealistic painting. Heyer taught drawing and painting part time at Stellenbosch University for 9 years. She has had two solo shows, ‘Threshold’ and ‘Order + Division’, and has participated in numerous group shows, mostly in Cape Town. Currently she paints full time from her Stellenbosch home where she lives with her husband and two daughters.
“Paintings show us a single moment, even though they remain fixed for centuries. The ephemeral instant and unending duration are forced very close together, and that is one of painting’s special strengths- one of the properties that sets it apart from other forms of art. The instant, the very definition of change, is pressed flat like a dried leaf in a collector’s book and made to remain in place indefinitely”
James Elkins 2001
“There is no reason looking should be easy, because pictures are not just decoration. They are peculiar objects that pull at us, tugging us a little out of the world. A picture will leave me unmoved if I don’t take time with it, but if I stop, and let myself get a little lost, there’s no telling what might happen.”
James Elkins 2001
Born 1983. Lives and works in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Married and has two daughters.
2007-2011. Master of Fine Arts, Stellenbosch University (cum laude)
2003-2006. BA Degree in Fine Arts, Stellenbosch University
2012. ‘Order and Division’, BRUNDYN + GONSALVES (cat), Cape Town
2010. ‘Threshold’, IArt Gallery, Cape Town (cat)
2019. A Smaller Scale. Ebony/Curated, Cape Town
2018. Sifting Boundaries: A selection of Works showcasing South African Women Artists of the past 100 years. From the Kilbourn Collection. Welgemeend, Cape Town
2017. 20 year Birthday Celebration. Knysna Fine Art, Knysna
2017. Fluid: Perspectives in Paint. Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
2017. Clare, Theo, Johann & Friends. Art.b Gallery, Belville
2016. Nano. Barnard Gallery, Cape Town
2016. MONO/LINO: Theo, Jono, Clare and friends. Art.b Gallery, Belville
2016. Home Truth: Domestic Interiors in South Africa. Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
2015-2016. Defining the Narrative. Gallery MOMO, Cape Town
2015. Jamestown Art Exhibition. Rynse Kerk, Stellenbosch
2015. However, works on paper by South African artists. Art Hub Gallery, London
2015. Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection. Map of the New Art, Venezia – Fondazionne Cini, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
2015. Grafen Graven: US Visual Arts Department Staff Exhibition. GUS, Stellenbosch
2014–2015. Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection. The Art World, Museo Bilotti, Rome, Italy
2014. Imago Mundi – Luciano Benetton Collection. Ca’ dei Carraresi, Treviso, Italy
2014. ‘Brave New World’ 20 Years of Democracy. Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town
2013. Paint+ Experimental Ventures into Expanded Painting. Brundyn+Gonsalves, Nirox Projects, Johannesburg
2012-2013. MATERIAL / REPRESENTATION. Brundyn+Gonsalves, Cape Town
2011. Jo-burg Art Fair. Johannesburg
2009. Propositions: MAX Masters in Visual Arts Students Exhibition. US Art Gallery, Stellenbosch
2006. Portrait Exhibition. AVA, Cape Town
2006. Absa L’Atelier Awards (cat). Pretoria
2006. Graduate Exhibition. Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch
2006: Public vote favourite artwork. AVA Portrait Exhibition
2006: 2nd Prize; KUKO Art Competition
2005: 1st Prize in technical excellence; PPC Cement Young Sculptors Award, Pretoria
Luciano Benetton Collection
South African National Gallery
Stellenbosch University Museum
Lecturer in drawing and painting (part-time) at Stellenbosch University Visual Arts Department, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2015. Artelibre – “Arte y Libertad X ” (10th edition of the Yearbook “Art and Freedom”). Galeria Artelibre, Spain ISBN 13: 978-84-608-2672-9.
2014. South Africa: 10×12 @SA, Contemporaty Artists from South Africa. Imago Mundi, Luciano Benetton Collection. Fabrica, Italy ISBN 978-88-98764-09-9.
2010. Melvin Minaar, Art Times Review, Cape Town