Visually, nothing spells out a summer show more explicitly than a wall of flowers. And this is what greets visitors to the “Summer Selection 2104” exhibition now open at Fillingdon Farm. This is mainly due to the beautiful collection of work by Cape Town artist Cathy Layzell. Large, voluptuous, blousy pink roses tumble off the canvas, while informal bunches of blooms are gathered in pitchers and jars on kitchen tables.
The intimate study of the ‘Artist’s Desk’ is the first painting of hers to sell off this show; an exquisite example of her work, described as; “gentle and with insight and a controlled sensitivity reminiscent of the beautiful quiet of Morandi.”
Depicting flora is a natural given for Cape artists living in one of the most beautiful floral kingdoms in the world. An abundance of indigenous protea and fynbos, as well as cultivated gardens and plants set against the iconic mountain backdrop, are visual fodder for the creatively minded. Cathy has just finished a year as Artist in Residence at Luvey ‘n Rose, a bohemian salon in the colourful Bo-Kaap area of town, right underneath Table Mountain. When I visited a few months ago, her spacious and airy studio on the top floor was lined with large and energetic canvases; “a symphony of layered, coloured mark making, and plays of light…. a pulsating, vibrating abstract visual pleasure….both rich and refined.”
Coffee and cigars are the other specialities of this off-beat establishment, and whilst I declined the latter, I indulged in the former, over an informative chat with the barista and an inquisitive search through their impressive collection of South African art books and journals. No wonder Cathy felt at home.