Ingrid Uys
A Fragile Whisper
The White River Gallery is proud to present Ingrid Uys’ second solo exhibition, ‘A Fragile Whisper” having hosted her first solo exhibition through Halifax Art in Johannesburg 2016.

With Ingrid’s childhood characterized by many moves to a host of small towns, the concept of movement, migration, flight and impermanence are central themes represented in her work.

In “A Fragile Whisper”, Ingrid’s new collection of 24 oils on canvas and paper expands on this narrative; her fascination with hummingbirds as subject matter and their ability to hover, metaphorically brings focus to the concept of fleeting time. The illusion of moments frozen in time, alluding to the fragile nature of seconds and minutes, is depicted by Ingrid in her unique combination of larger square and finely detailed brushstrokes.

In this new series of paintings, there is equal focus on plant matter : blossoms, twigs, and branches. The contrast of focused vs blurred images initiates a dialogue between notions of permanence and impermanence, giving further depth to the theme of migration/movement - and Ingrid’s eternal quest to capture a sliver of permanence, rendering an everlasting glimpse of nature on canvas.

Dana MacFarlane
October 2020
Ingrid Uys
Artist Statement
I grew up camping and exploring the outdoors with my family, especially the bushveld and game farms of the Lowveld, my parents being passionate birders. They taught me to notice the detail around me, find the beauty in one’s surroundings, and be curious and inquisitive. To really see the world and life around me, the delicate details, colours and textures. We would spend long drives in nature reserves, taking turns reading facts aloud about the birds and trees we see, and photographing rolls and rolls of film!

I am captivated by the movement and luminous colours of the sunbird. I have been exploring the theme of birds in flights as a metaphor for fleeting moments, mostly swallows and doves flocking in the sky, but the detail and fragility of these little long- beaked birdies fluttering in the branches inspired an entirely new direction in my work. And from there the hummingbirds (and sunbirds) became my new obsession.

I find most of my inspiration in nature, the beauty and mysteries of Creation, finding ways to translate meaning and purpose through my work. I am fascinated by the delicate relationship we have with each other and nature. A major theme in my work is the fragility of time, a recurring and almost consistent concept I am developing. The birds in flight resemble a moment captured, it refers to the significance of time, the value of a few precious seconds. Wearing glasses/contact lenses myself, I find the vision we have, the way we see and interpret the world around us very interesting.

I’ve always had a way of looking at things around me and seeing the world “as paintings”, figuring out why some things capture my attention and draw me in to look closer. I aim to capture the unnoticed part of time passing, a moment, a reference to what resonates and lingers. Like the delicate details of the hummingbird, a moment of silence, movement, flux, transition - a fading memory is captured. I explore the fleeting. Still, I never intend to “speak” for the artwork. It remains to be experienced, interpreted, ‘felt’ by the viewer. The subtle clues giving only a glimpse into the unknown depths of my mind, my thoughts, my story……

- Ingrid Uys 2019/2020
Ingrid Uys
Ingrid E Uys was born in 1985 in Ermelo, Mpumalanga. Growing up in small towns like Kroonstad, Clarens, Middelburg, and Harrismith, she spent most of her childhood days painting and drawing the world around her. Her exposure to nature, open spaces, different places and people nurtured a curiosity in the world around her, and creating drawings and paintings served as a means to collect those moments and memories, expressing herself and her thoughts. After years of art classes in different studios in different towns, Ingrid Uys completed her BA Fine Art Degree in 2007 at the University of Pretoria, specializing in oil painting under the tutelage of Diane Victor, Philip Badenhorst, and Rina Stutzer.

Ingrid pursued her career as a full time artist, moving to Jhb in 2009, participating in numerous group exhibitions with Erdmann Contemporary and Halifax Art. During this time, she completed commissioned artworks for the South African Embassy, along with artists Diane Victor, Jan van der Merwe, and Bongi Bengu.

In 2016, Ingrid’s first solo exhibition “This Fleeting Forever” was hosted by Halifax Art in Johannesburg, with Diane Victor, her previous lecturer and mentor, as the opening speaker. Since that time, her scope of representing galleries have grown to include White River Gallery, Carol Lee Fine Art, and Lizamore and Associates. Over the past three consecutive years, she has been successfully represented by the White River Gallery at RMB Turbine Art Fair, (2018, 2019, 2020). In addition, the White River Gallery represented her work at Design Jhb in 2019.

Ingrid’s art has been included in an auction hosted by RMB and Lizamore and Associates, having donated her work in aid of Surgeons for Little Lives. Passionate about supporting children’s causes, Ingrid has also donated her work to raise funds for the Goldilocks and the Bear Foundation.

Her work is currently part of numerous international collections of note, private and corporate. Ingrid aims to expand her technique and medium to include printmaking in the near future. Ingrid Uys currently lives and works in Johannesburg, and is married with two daughters.


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