Greta McMahon ( South Africa )
Greta Matthews McMahon started her career as a set designer and props maker at the National Theatre of Namibia after receiving a diploma from the Pretoria Technicon in Theatre crafts in 1990. She went on to study fine art at the Michaelis School of Fine Art (UCT) where she majored in lithography.
She taught at Cape College in Cape Town and it was during this time that she worked towards her first solo exhibition at the AVA in Cape Town in 1999. Greta moved to Ireland and Holland for several years where she held several successful solo shows and took part in a number of group shows. She was also a member of the Black Church Printmakers while residing in Dublin and focused on lithography. On her return to Cape Town she ventured into the art of mosaic and opened a very successful mosaic studio as well as exploring and working with clay.
She moved to the village of Riebeek-West 3 years ago, where she has her art studio.
' Long ago and far away, in a time and place where you and I have never been, only a great and powerful Source of energy existed. It constantly renewed Itself through unfolding and enfolding, unfolding and enfolding, in a ceaseless vortex of unified, integrated movement .The two kinds of movement were completely one with each other.’
Jean Benedict Raffa - Author of ‘Healing the sacred divide’
My earlier works shows a deep interest in abstraction as a powerful visual language. This enabled me to truly express my ideas and feelings, the meaning of which could not be captured in words. I was intrigued by the power of creativity and the ability it had to unlock aspects of the Self. The influences of formal art training and the demands of the gallery scene fuelled my discomfort around my intentions and reasoning for wanting to create art. A period of deep reflection brought me to a renewed awareness, integrity and reasoning behind the motivation underpinning art and its creation and its power to heal the sacred divide.
The creative act for me is a ritual, a sacred and healing ritual, which fuses body, mind and spirit. Stepping into this sacred space can deliver infinite meaning and possibility. Working consciously with creativity helps to unlock the unconscious, which contains everything we do not know about ourselves.
The reflection mirrors and shows evidence of who we are - light and dark. The themes I engage with and explore are mythology, archetypes, dream language and symbols which helps me to integrate natural polarities such as darkness/light, masculine/ feminine, conscious/subconscious, above/below and life/death, to mention a few.
I investigate and intuitively seek to unfurl these themes in the everyday of the collective and the individual. There is a quest for balance, unity and integration of self into ones daily life. In order to create and explore these themes and images I make use of various media and techniques such as painting, collage, drawing and clay.
My work emerges from a place of stillness and reflection brought about through a deep engagement with the creative process. '