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THE LIFE AND WORK OF Simone Redman

Simone Redman lives and works in Cape Town and is currently employed at a Therapeutic centre for mentally challenged adults, teaching in their painting workshop. Her working career has included costume arts, prop making, display work, teaching, freelance illustrating, and numerous mosaic commissions. In the past she has developed accessory designs in recycled rubber and mixed media, including initiating an Outreach Course in papier mâché furniture making at Ruth Prowse School of Art.

Although largely self-taught, she has done various short courses through UNISA, GIPCA, CCDI, professional artist’s workshops and is currently being mentored by Prof. Elfriede Dreyer in ongoing courses on Contemporary Art Practice at CAP.

She has participated in group shows at The Lütge Gallery, Kalk Bay Modern, Burr and Muir, ArtB and Edg Gallery. She has illustrated 2 published books, Money Alchemy and Money Well by Kiki Theo and was a finalist for the Vuleka and the MY Citi bus station submissions.

This current series of work diarizes the chronic pain of the artist’s Trigeminal Neuralgia. By removing the clinical definition of the disorder, and instead using abstract, bizarre, and disparate images, textures, and mark-making in order to externalize her reactions to the pain in her face.

Redman works with analogue photomontage to create composite portraits using overlapping imagery, in an attempt to create a new incongruous replication of the self. Influences are Surrealism, psychic automatism, Wangechi Mutu’s otherworldly collage imagery and the wit of the Italian Mannerist painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s portraits.

The colour palette is kept muted in an attempt to calm the face down and quirky titles are given to the put a lid on the madness of the condition. Working small but with an obsessive staccato of hand cut up bits of paper, the final three-dimensional works are a result of further drawing, painting, and chance manipulation.

These portraits on paper, present the viewer with cameo pieces of a visualised struggle, inviting them to consider the artist’s instinctive, somewhat humorous reaction to the malady.

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