In her latest paintings Gina Heyer explores empty school corridors and bathrooms meticulously rendered in oil paint. The paintings purposefully bring the seamless illusion of space into tension with their flatness as almost paper thin veneers on flat and floating boards. James Elkins notes that in painting, “The instant, the very definition of change, is pressed flat like a dried leaf in a collector’s book and made to remain in place indefinitely” (2001). Mundane and familiar spaces become beautiful and strange when stilled and eternally fixed through the slow and painstaking layering of paint.
These are not homely spaces of belonging, but rather become a temporary albeit ominous refuge as large blank walls promise stability and permanence. Shaped by human action, these buildings in turn shape those who move through them. These spaces appear as mute holding cells where an individual confronts his or her own anonymity among the masses. Ordered, divided and disciplined, there is safety in the grid, in the architecturally and ideologically defined parameters of the public institution.
A silent drama plays out as linoleum and painted walls reflect diffused sunlight. Surfaces seductively draw the viewer in but at the same time the cold, hard and repetitive façades seem to stifle and alienate, reinforcing the sense of absent individuality. An uncomfortable silence is amplified in these still and empty spaces. There is both the urge to stay, to be seen and to escape to the promise of a world outside the dark solitary refuge.
Gina Heyer is currently a full time artist, teaching drawing part time at the Visual Arts Department of Stellenbosch University, South Africa, where she obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree in 2011.
2012 'Orden y División', Brundyn + Gonsalves (catálogo), Ciudad del Cabo
2010 'Umbral', iArt Galería (ahora Brundyn + Gonsalves) (catálogo), Ciudad del Cabo
2009 'Proposiciones: MAX Maestría en Artes Visuales Los estudiantes de Exposiciones', Galería de Arte de Estados Unidos, Stellenbosch
2006 'Exposición Vertical', AVA, Ciudad del Cabo
2006 Absa Atelier Premio L'(catálogo), Pretoria
2006 'Graduados Exposición', Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch
2005 PPC jóvenes escultores Premio, Pretoria Cemento
2006 votación pública ilustraciones preferidas, AVA Retrato Exposición
2006 2º Premio, Concurso de Arte KUKO
2005 1er Premio en excelencia técnica; PPC Cemento Premio Joven escultores
2010 Melvin Minaar, Arte Times (Revisión)
Iziko South African National Gallery
de la Universidad de Stellenbosch Sasol Museo de Arte