I think one of the major missions of art is to interpret our personal view and experiences of life in a commonly understandable and universal language; something bigger from our existence, where everyone could find a piece of his/her own self. Looking the self-portrait of the very talented South African painter, Jolante Hesse, no one can stay unmoved by the strength and sincerity of its truth, and of course by its masterfulness.
Jolante Hesse, winner of the Artist of the Week contest for the second time, is not only a very gifted and skilled painter but also has an uncommon story behind the discovery of her talent.
“In 2004 I survived a panga attack in Mombasa, Kenya whilst working as part of a hotel opening team,” she had mentioned in her previous interview. “I started drawing after the attack and found the process therapeutic and calming. My recovery took about a year. Although I was, and still is involved in my career, I started thinking about developing my love for art and painting. Little by little I started simplifying and decluttering my life and in 2010 I started art and painting classes.”
The painting “What Started It All” is featuring the scar that started Jolante’s journey to art; her traumatized hand became the tool that unveiled her talent. And, this is couldn’t be the more hopeful message; besides the bad things happening in our lives, we will always have the choice to transform them in something beneficial and beautiful for ourselves and the others.
Jolante has a very impressive portfolio of portraits, but also landscapes, still life and drawings. “I am always working on and thinking about figures and portraits, although I am becoming curious about still lifes and unusual landscapes that evoke an emotional response.“
She is also very aware of her technique and materials and she is only satisfied when she achieves the best in her art. “In line with my personality, I seek technical proficiency before the artistic expression,” she explains. “This enables me to create a foundation that I can have faith in. I need to know exactly how materials can be used and must have the confidence to trust my skills. It is just how my head works. My left brain wants to know that if I paint a painting, it will look the way I painted it 300 years from now, without it fading or disintegrating. I want to create texture, life, vibrancy and value changes without necessarily having to apply thick paint or relying on the ‘accident’.” And, this persistence is justified and successful. One of her portraits was selected as a finalist for the SPI National Portrait Award that is the largest and most prestigious portrait competition in South Africa.
Thank you so much, Jolante for sharing your work and ideas for one more time. You can find and follow Jolante’s Hesse unique fine art on her site.