Grace da Costa
Born in 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Studied graphic design at the Johannesburg College of Art and worked as a graphic designer for close on twenty years. Frustrated by the demands of clients, computers and commercialism, she started sculpting and painting. She uses the lost wax process for her sculptures and also explores oil painting and mixed media in her work. She has exhibited extensively and her work is represented in many collections.
I do not start with a fixed concept in mind. The concept evolves during the process of experimentation and development. A piece is often reworked and changed over an extended period. The plastic qualities of the medium, composition, contrast, surface tension and texture are all elements that are considered and explored.
I prefer to articulate my thoughts visually rather than verbally. The process is an attempt at organizing and understanding information, exploring confusion and trying to resolve personal concerns. The works are a record or reflection of what I am exposed to in daily life, in the media and in society – somewhat like a ‘collage’ of thoughts, experience and process. Man’s perception of reality, the transience of life, belief in an afterlife, notions of good and evil, religion, power and gender are universal human issues which inform my interpretation.
The act of painting, drawing or sculpting, provides immediate gratification, somewhat like a child playing with mud: squish it around and see what happens! The whole process stimulates the senses. Textures, colours, shapes, marks – so many things can be done. Proceeding to manipulate, distort or even destroy the image. Expressing one’s immediate emotions, concerns or opinions, without having to consider another being. Pure self-indulgence."