Beulah van Rensburg, Australian Artist.
Van Rensburg's Practice in anchored in the techniques of the Old Masters. Influenced by painters such as Caravaggio, Artemisia, Blake and Turner, her technical ability in oils and mesmerising use of light and scale hark back to another time. However, there is a joy in her colour choices, modernity and vibrancy in the brushstrokes, that places her work firmly in the present.
Van Rensburg's latest series of paintings, explore the momentous emotions of a transient life experience. Using symbolic figurative language Van Rensburg delves into her own experience of moving from place to place, country to country, the excitement, confusion, happiness and the freedom derived from the transience.
The recurring motif of the birdcage symbolise both escape from an old life and finding a new space to exist. It is the light of the work that takes centre stage, and turns the melancholy and longing into hope, the isolation and emptiness into anticipation and the excitement of the unknown. The birdcages are a glimpse of beauty and difference in an unexpected place. Mostly empty, they become a point of embarkation and the occasional bird can be seen harnessing the notion of expectation to act, to do.
Her work is purposefully titled in other languages to show the direct effect a different language and culture can have; the absolute incomprehensibility of the alien. Some named in Chinese , the beauty of the Chinese script retains a sense of 'otherness', and the effects detachment are clear to cultural explorers such as Van Rensburg who has resided in Shanghai and Hong Kong for the past 15 years. Her work implores us to look around wherever we are and wherever we live and see the everyday struggle and joy of reinvention.