Nicola Bouwer

I’m a Johannesburg based mixed media artist. My art draws from my everyday life, my broader environment and the new places that I visit. As such, my art speaks to my engagement with the world and is always personal. My chosen medium is often a function of the effect that I’m trying to achieve, and I create artworks using painting, drawing, mono prints and collage. I paint on board rather than stretched canvas as the smoothness of the surface allows for blending and my own texturing. I use diluted oil paint very thinly. Its a layering process that takes time but – with this approach – I am able to achieve depth of field as well as a soft blurred effect. I create art as it gives me with a voice to comment on what is happening our world. I want my work to challenge our traditional perceptions and encourage a dialogue between the viewer and the work. The body of work that I’m submitting is called 'Senescence'. Menopause is a natural physiological process experienced by every female person during their middle age. The end of our menstrual cycle triggers changing levels of ovarian hormones, which has a huge effect on our bodies and our lives. Albeit that there are many books and websites devoted to this topic, there is still a level of is misunderstanding and public stigma associated with ‘the change’. With our youth obsessed culture its understandable why no one speaks openly about menopause and what it means. This body of works seeks to share the highs and lows of being a woman at this life stage – all of the associated symptoms and surrounding experiences and complex emotions. Its about sharing my personal journey - giving light and attention to a topic that’s still largely unshared.

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