Noeleen Kleve is a full-time artist living and working in Kommetjie near Cape Town.
She initially qualified as a graphic designer and spent two decades in this field before embarking on a BVA with UNISA, graduating in 2013. It was during this journey that her passion for printmaking was ignited. Alongside her own artistic practice, she presents fine art classes and printmaking workshops from her studio.
“I find that each printmaking process allows for exploration into different ways of seeing and for excavating meaning in an image. I am inspired by the mindfulness of the gestures innate to the printmaking processes, explorations into mark-making, and the diverse techniques of layering and creating textures in my work.”
Noeleen is inspired by the land, in both a geographical as well as a spiritual sense. Experiences and observations of landscape, as well as, a sense of place, often underpin her artwork. Intricate and abstracted imagery of flora become a visual metaphor for environmental issues; while other artworks containing elements of mapping and aerial perspectives, allude to liminal or in-between spaces.
These recent works on paper are an exploration into the motif of the corm and the meanings it evokes in the context of regeneration. I am interested in how the Watsonia corm, a local indigenous flowering plant, rebirths prolifically after a fire, and how this can be a metaphor for the experience of regeneration or “new birth”.
Regeneration and resurrection from the dead are both concepts inherent to nature. Through plants, regeneration is evident in the earth at Spring. Rebirth and resurrection are key themes in Greek mythology as well, articulated in the story of Persephone and Demeter; and are also intrinsic to the Christian faith. Meditation too, can bring about a rebirth experience allowing for a deeper sense of purpose and spiritual connection.
As an extension of the visual metaphor, I have worked with printmaking processes, generating an image on a surface, then covering the image with paper and printing either through the press or by hand pressure. As it emerges on the paper, the image is revealed anew: alluding to the process itself as a ‘burial’ and rebirth.