Up to date, ‘Idyllirium’ is the most ambitious of my ongoing body of work, ‘Translucence: Les Filles et Garcons’, where the delicate and translucent application of paint, becomes the perfect vehicle, to express fluid and feminine forms and imbue them with a feeling of the ethereal.
This panel is a tribute to femininity. 22 females are depicted and the spectator’s eye is gradually led by the rhythmic and sensual lines formed by their beautiful shapes which result in a haunting yet serene visual melody. The nymphs are oblivious to the indulgence of the spectator and we in turn get a secret glimpse into their private world. Only one of the nymphs, with only her arms visible, dares to have eye contact.
Nude figures possess ambivalent meanings and imply ambiguous emotions and when the contemplator is confronted with the revealed human forms in ‘Idyllirium’, the attitude is that of NUDITAS VIRTUALIS = purity and innocence.
Heavy but subtle patterning, inspired by Oriental motifs, contrast with the simplicity of the figures.
Five separate pieces, each measuring 1.3m x 0.9m, are attached to each other, so as to result in the monumental ‘Idyllirium’ that spans a total of 4.5 metres. The ‘feast of females’ – adolescent, delicately boned, blond or brunette, as well as those who are more generously proportioned and sensual, personify the wonderful variety of beauty and femininity to be found in diverse cultures. Some have the angular lines of an art deco bronze or ivory figure, whereas others possess the soft sensuality of the ultra-feminine art nouveau sirens.
Traces of the subtle influence of Botticelli and Alphonse Mucha, both childhood passions, are suggested.
This freeze is an ode to a place where perfect harmony and beauty exists, where nothing can disturb or disrupt – a Shangrila.
2006 May 21 “Thank you so much for the invite to see ‘ IDYLIRRIUM’. Although the weather was awful, the painting made one forget the winter! In all the years that I have known you, I have never seen such beauty on canvas and I consider myself very fortunate to have seen so many styles through the eye of my camera of one famous artist, your good self. Love and Best Wishes (Mike Scholes- the photographer in charge of documenting most of the early work)”
2013 October 27 ‘Always wanted to say this Aleta, and now I think I have concluded my thoughts about your work. I see it as a spiritual experience, breathed onto canvas. Truly unique and beautiful’ (Fellow artist Koos Bronkhorst)