As a born and bred Pretoria suburbanite, Marna Schoeman sees her immediate surroundings as the biggest source of inspiration for her detailed renderings in acrylic on wood panel or stretched canvass.
Humour is the cornerstone of her work and with her tongue firmly lodged in her cheek, she doesn’t have to travel very far to gather visual information. She enjoys telling contemporary stories based on ancient myths, legends and fables and her wacky and off the wall canvasses tend to depict the rich and somewhat extraordinary diversity of life, humans, plants and animals that can be found in Hyperama parking lots or the local gym and carwash. Lately she has also started to accessorise her paintings with fashion items like chic little handbags.
“Although I grew up in a very traditional Afrikaans household I have always been fascinated by Eastern religion and philosophy. It might have had something to do with the fact that my father must have been the only person I know to actually buy info-booklets from Hare Krishna! These wonderfully illustrated gems thus landed on our bookshelf.
When bored as a child, I would lie down on my bed with a pile of these books, and was dazzled by these highly decorative and exotic images of beautiful benign cattle and strange blue deities with rosy, upturned hand palms.
These fantastic, detailed images were imprinted into my psyche from a very early age and found its way into my artistic expression.
Although Hindu history, mythology and philosophy still fascinate me and its visual approach continues to feed into my style, since marrying a man that lives and works in various African countries, such as Botswana, Zambia and Nigeria, my contact with African art and culture also influences me greatly.”
Marna Schoeman studied BA Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria and graduated in 1986. She had her first exhibition, together with Diek Grobler at Aletha Michaletos’ gallery in 1988 in Pretoria and has since then taken part in numerous group and solo-exhibitions in Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Johannesburg.
She is known for her illustrations for the controvertial and acclaimed Afrikamasutra -the Afrikaans translation of the classic Sanskrit masterpiece, which was published by Unisa press in 2013 and received the Hidding Curie award for publishing excellence.
Web site: http://www.art.co.za/marnaschoeman