Outside In

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‘Abundance'(2021). Mixed media on wooden canvas. 100 cm x 100 cm x 5cm

In collaboration with the Rupert Museum and the Jan Rupert Art Centre, contemporary mixed media artist Michèle Nigrini presents her solo exhibition “Outside In” at the Imibala Gallery in Graaf-Reinet, from 5th March 2021.

With “Outside In”, Nigrini physically and metaphorically pulls her exterior environment into her studio. Reflecting our times and Michèle’s personal space, this body of work explores that which lies on the outside, in the hopes of bringing a part of it within. In the first lockdown, Michèle had to move her studio to her home, and her new workspace includes a repurposed ‘potting shed’, leading onto the veranda, surrounded by the garden, the orchard, the wealth of summer flowers. This special place provides an artistic breathing space, cushioning the outside world, and allowing her to use the confinement of the lockdown as a gift to be more mindful of beauty in the everyday.

Returning to the original inspiration for the epic ‘Colour Symphony’, Nigrini uses that which surrounds her as a vehicle for exploring line and colour, presenting it in her typical style of ‘gestural expressionism’. Michèle believes that art is a medium for the elevation of the spirit yet remains rooted in the experience of everyday life. Her approach is based on visual sensations, and mark making is the most fundamental element in her art – a scratch of charcoal, a line of ink, a splash of colour, is how she expresses emotion, movement, the
essence of her theme. She uses various unconventional tools, many of them of the garden – twigs, plants, handmade brushes and brooms. Layering paint, accidental marks, symbols, letters – shoe prints on the path to the unpredictable outcome and ensuring that everything is part of the story. Based on a deep and evolving understanding of colour, she then systematically ‘curates her chaos’ to complete the image.

In this exhibition Nigrini uses a singular square display format as a unifying thread that runs throughout, telling an abstract story in every quadrilateral space.

For more information, please visit the Imibala Gallery website at http://www.imibala.com. “Outside In” is presented in conjunction with a group exhibition of work inspired by ‘Colour Symphony’ at the Jan Rupert Art Centre. ‘Colour Symphony’ has also been moved from the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch to the Art Centre for the exhibition.