What's Inspiring Me

Posted by admin on 25 August 2015 09:47:00 CAT


Introducing Diana Hyslop, a Johannesburg based artist who’s work was exhibited at our very own Turbine Art Fair. With many years experience in the art world, Hyslop’s work.explores magical realism and a universe of possibilities in which unexpected combinations are viable, all co-exist, and where everything can happen at once.

We asked Diana what is inspiring her lately:

The art workshop I have been attending together with 20 local and international artists a couple of kilometres outside the small town of Livingston, in Zambia, has been trulyinspiring me over the past few days. It’s literally a stones throw away from the Vic Falls, and also a-joins an elephant park. At night I sometimes hear the elephants tearing bark off the trees, and it feels as if they are right next to where I sleep, which they actually are!

The purpose of the workshop is to interact with the artists and explore different ways of creating and making things one wouldn’t normally make back in the studio.

Gone are my comfort zones. I am sleeping in a tent (which is a big challenge for me) and after the first night in a sleeping bag, I went straight to town and bought a heavyblanket. I never knew how wonderful a blanket could be. The hot shower rarely works, so I am SLOWLY getting used to the cold showers.

Also, a wireless internet which is an exotic albeit erratic luxury. Most mornings I wake up I think, “OMG, where am I?”. Then it dawns on me and I leap up and go and make myself coffee in the workshop kitchen before the mosquitos get to me in my rapidly warming tent.

I made some work from the pieces of glass I found in the surrounding fields. It drives me mad how much broken glass there is around so I thought I would make a bit of statement about it. When I photographed the work, I loved the way the sun shone through the glass creating shadows.


As an antidote to all the glass, I decided to create some quirky animals out of the local plants…

Interacting with some of the other artists has also been a real inspiration. Stary Mwaba, a Zambian artist, has put Chinese cabbage leaves in small glasses of water, mixed in with food colouring.

When the leaves absorb the liquid they then turn yellow,red and blue, whilst the stems and veins remain white. The transformation that takes place is quite beautiful. Each colour is representative of the main commodities that are mined in the country – hence yellow for copper, red for manganese, and blue for cobalt. Chinese cabbage is an interesting choice as it is the most consumed vegetable in Zambia, introduced by the Chinese who arrived in the country in the late sixties. Our local chef also has a thing for cabbages as we eat them twice a day…. ouch!


Anyway, I am now off to watch the red Zambian sunset with a glass of wine so it’s bye for now!

Join us on Thursday as our Innovations Chef, Arno Botha, shares what he cooks at home.