Artist’s Work Mirrors Old Masters’

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By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK SWAKOPMUND-based artist Angela Hanke’s work was on Friday evening described as a fine reflection of European old master’s techniques in depiction on canvas of African/South Asian vegetation, religion and animal life. “The works are also a reflection of the life of Angela Hanke – her Eden, her paradise, a cultural exchange between African and European traditions. The artist is an intense nature and animal lover. She also admires the European old masters, who have dominated the international art scene for decades and until this day,” Echardt Mueller said when he officially opened the exhibition at the coastal town’s Woermannhaus Art Gallery. The exhibition, which runs until January 7, is titled, “Angela Hanke, My Eden”. According to him her creative technique is related to and taken from the techniques of old masters. “She uses a mixture of egg, resin (tree-gum) and turpentine for the first layers of her works painted onto caron, cloth or wood. Gradually, layer by layer, the painting is developed onto the basic colour. This is a very time-consuming process and it takes months before one painting is completed. The colours of the paintings are very lively, strong and eye-catching with the potential to last for ages,” he said. In his opinion the paintings initially seemed to be very abstract. “This however, is not true, as the tree trunks for example are very realistic and do exist – in Burma as well as in Malawi and Zimbabwe. As vegetation is never without insects, animals and birds, every painting is lightened up by showing some of them. “By using the technique of the old masters, the artist is able to have a work division between the design and the colour composition,” Mueller said of the works, which he compared to the techniques of artists such as Salvadore Dali, Marc, Ernst, and Otto Dix. The artist was born in the German capital of Berlin and holds a degree in art history as well as a diploma in art education. Before coming to Namibia, Hanke lived for spells in Malawi, Burma and Botswana.

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