– a series of portraits exploring the beautiful, intricate and finite nature of humanity as we seek to understand and be understood.
Jana Branca completed a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) in 2008. Her work has been recognised and exhibited by prestigious art institutions such as: the Pretoria Arts Association, Sasol New Signatures and the Ekurhuleni Mnyele Fine art awards.
Her interest in the flesh; as a physical manifestation of humanity; universally bound by time and always in a state of change, has continued to influence her work.
She has become acutely aware that ‘the flesh’ is much like ‘the character’ in that it is in a constant state of change and development. Our human experiences and interactions are so complex and layered; often guarded and often staged; frustrating and restricting our ability to know each other.
In her most recent body of work, she explored the notion of ‘Being Known’ through a series of portraits. She is drawn to the tension of creating an impression of something or someone, whilst celebrating the mediums used as the ‘fabric’ of the impression – the paint, the brush and the canvas.
Her painting process involves building the picture plane with brush strokes, whilst leaving parts of the canvas undeveloped emulating the effect that the progression of time has on our ‘character’. She continually aims to enable the viewer to trace her brush, offering them a ‘window’ into the past whilst illuminating the obscurity of it. Her constructional process further allures to the manner in which situations and moments in life might influence, build and shape us.
By using the nicknames of the subjects as titles for the works, the viewer is invited to engage with each monumental portrait as an ‘individual’. Deciphering non-verbal cues from each other is part of our daily functioning, and this attempts to offer further information into the intimate past or presence of each person represented.
Viewing until 18th May
Space Studio & Gallery (Gallery 1)
All works are oil on canvas