Grace da Costa – Born 1955

My mother needed a way of keeping her five boisterous children constructively occupied. A supply of paper, pencils & paints was provided and we were told to get busy. Thus started a lifetime’s interest and exploration of art.

After a very rigid and conservative schooling I found myself at Johannesburg College of Art. What delirious freedom! In between friends, socializing and parties I managed to absorb some of the principles of composition, colour and history.

I then started working in the advertising industry as a graphic designer. After years of pandering to client demands I needed an outlet for my personal creative urge and so turned to sculpting and painting. The thrill of working with my hands and making art had returned.

I have always had an affiliation with, and interest in, the expressive possibilities provided by the human form, whether in sculpture or painting. This interest has never waned and has been the catalyst for much of the work that I have produced over the years.

Rhythm, human interaction, body language, religion, gender are some universal issues that I explore. Sometimes it is a mere technicality that I am trying to resolve that serves as a starting point from which a new work may develop. My approach is never rigid or preconceived.

I often use negative spaces to create emotional and visual tension and content. I employ distortions, abstractions and exaggerations of the human form.

I attempt to provide a visual counterpoint to the sometimes distressing aspects of human experience by creating intriguing and engaging works in which glimpses of sensual beauty transcend the mundane realities of daily existence.

I cannot imagine a day where art does not play a role and consider myself very fortunate to enjoy the freedom and fulfillment of this journey.