Marlise Keith

(b 1972South Africa. Lives and works in Cape Town)

Keith’s artwork is a means of understanding her world through an alternative logic. Plagued by chronic migraines, physical pain and existential uncertainty are recurring themes that run through her approach to work. “It awards me endless excruciating hours to mull over ‘being’,” she says. Suffering is therefore translated on to her canvases, which are marked by a surreal quality, which she hopes will draw the viewer into closer scrutiny of the darker complexities lurking beneath the images.

The feeling of discomfort is also features in Keith’s technical process. In order to continually challenge herself technically, she regularly does what she calls a “discipline session”, where she applies new rules for her drawings. For her recent works the rules were: no collage, no sticking or weird media; just pencil, oil pastel, water soluble wax crayon, pen and very little ink.


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