When attending the 40th Anniversary of Rhode´s Women in September, 2017, I met Julie Taylor, Founder and Director of the Contemporary Art Gallery “Guns and Rain” an online art gallery headquartered in South Africa. After discussing my work in the Creative Arts and Climate Change, Julie introduced me to, Tanisha Bhana, one of the artists with whom she is working.
Tanisha is a self-trained contemporary South African visual artist and poet, focussing on new media, Tanisha has received merit awards in South Africa and has published a monograph with ArtCo Publishing in Germany.
Solo exhibitions of her work have been held in South Africa and Germany and she has participated in curated exhibitions in South Africa, France, Germany, Netherlands, Namibia and the United States for shows curated by Gordon Froud, Celia de Villiers, Anna Liebenberg, Derek Zietsman and Rafael Powell.
Tanisha´s works are represented at private and corporate collections.
The artwork shows our changing world and illustrates the impact people have on themselves, all living beings, and the earth. Her work communicates difficult times in human history. She shows the changing landscape, a time of crisis and emergency. The work touches us by showing the impact people have on biodiversity.
Tanisha reaches out not only with her artwork but with her words. I share her Artist´s statement:
“In the dance between the natural world and the human psyche, I enjoy exploring relationships between human beings, the objects we create and the spaces we occupy.
Sometimes, we ourselves being the product of our creation, I seek to understand the authentic in the clouded experience of our attachments.
I attempt to fossilise the interconnectedness of all things, be they organic or inanimate.
My medium is mixture of matter, consisting of discarded objects, perishable or inert waste material, scrap metal, organic refuse, concrete, resin, glass, ceramics, natural pigment, oils or acrylics, blood, plastic, decomposing matter, ink, photographic material and light.
A fascination for the human value chain of production, consumption, growth, distribution and continuous development has led me to wonder about its effect on the human body and our collective psyche. My works are often then an attempt to break down a form to its component parts and explore the ‘product’ that has been manufactured or the attachments that have been acquired.
The process entails a compositing of layers of transparent material taken from waste products, compost heaps, organic refuse sites, discarded metal objects and landfill objects. I enjoy organic textures and a mix of abstract colour and ambiguous form.
Drawing closer to the disconnect between the self and the external world feeds contemplation on the innermost essence of living and inanimate things.
Recording the trail may help to look at ourselves and remember who we are.”
I will be providing an ongoing series of Tanisha Bhana´s art works. The first two themes are Chernobyl and Milk for Dust. The medium for these works – archival pigment prints.
Both Chernobyl images are disturbing in recording the 1986 Nuclear Disaster, often referred to as an accident, that harmed many but touched all or us, an incident which provided an enduring impact showing the commonplace gone astray.
The second theme, Milk for Dust, exhibits pain and suffering in a disturbingly calm and collected way. It raises the question, “What have we done to ourselves and to our environment?” Tanisha´s images provide the response.
Tanisha Bhana´s artist´s profile indicates that she creates atmospheric and ethereal imagery that stirs the subconscious mind. Influenced by her profession as an attorney in the financial services global markets industry, her connection to her ancient heritage, and projects in marginalized communities in South Africa, she claims to act as a medium for the places that we inhabit.
Often composing her works from a dream state, she states that she would like to ‘ignite a subconscious repulsion and connection to common associations that tie us together.’
Her photography is often taken in naturally challenging environments, multi-layered and broken down through digital media and interposed with misplaced objects, each paradoxically symbols of both hope and despair, offering different meanings to imaginary landscapes.
She describes her process as the deliberate destruction of images to create aged yet futuristic landscapes, to place the viewer in the position of looking back at our future, symbolically declaring that “destruction naturally breeds creation and, in creating, we often destroy”.
Her profile goes on to say that Tanisha would like her works to be a ‘mirror that will remain when our footprints fade’.
All photos by Tanisha Bhana – All Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
Charalee Graydon was born in Alberta, Canada. She is a writer, journalist, academic and past lawyer. She works in the areas mediation and collaboration and is currently a faculty member at EUCLID University.
Charalee holds degrees in Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science, and a Juris Doctorate in Law. Following receipt of a Rhodes scholarship in 1982, she pursued legal studies in Oxford, England where she obtained a B.C. L degree. She held academic positions in England, New Zealand, and Canada and is presently a faculty member at Euclid University. She practiced law in Canada.
She has published three books of literary fiction and one of which has been translated and published in Spanish.
She developed programs for students, judges, and the corporations on legal issues and published academic works in environmental law, sentencing and commercial law.
Blog / Website: Charaleeg.com